Ankle pain can interfere with your life in a major way, without the right information and treatment options. If you have pain on the outside of your ankle, especially when turning your foot outward, you could be experiencing peroneal tendonitis. The first step toward an effective treatment is learning everything there is to know about symptoms, causes, and treatment to reduce recovery time and to prevent peroneal tendonitis from affecting you.
Peroneal tendonitis is an inflammation of the peroneal tendons. It is caused by prolonged or excessive activity and typically develops over a long period of time.
To understand peroneal tendonitis you first need to have a basic knowledge of the anatomy involved. Tendons connect muscle to bone and allow the muscle to apply force against the joints. The two peroneal tendons run along the outside of the foot and work to stabilize the ankle and prevent sprains. There are many different types of ankle instability and peroneal tendonitis is just one.
Peroneal Tendonitis Causes
Peroneal tendonitis causes are linked to overuse or improper shoe support. It is important to address any of these causes listed below before your peroneal tendonitis progresses into further tendon damage.
Repetitive ankle movements
Quick increase in exercise intensity
Tight calf muscles
Peroneal Tendonitis Symptoms
Peroneal tendonitis symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury. Your signs and symptoms may appear gradually or occur immediately after an ankle injury. Take a look at the symptoms listed below to see if you have peroneal tendonitis.
Pain on the back of the ankle
Swelling on the outside of the ankle
Tenderness around the ankle
Pain when turning the ankle outward
Diagnosing Peroneal Tendonitis
Your doctor will diagnose your ankle injury based on imaging and an exam of your leg, ankle, and foot. Be prepared to answer questions relating to your recent physical activity. Since changes in exercise routines can cause peroneal tendonitis, notify your doctor of those changes as it will be vital information when obtaining an accurate diagnosis.
During your physical exam, your doctor will check your foot and ankle. Pain, swelling, and ankle instability are all signs of peroneal tendonitis. Additional injuries can occur with peroneal tendonitis, so your doctor will determine if you need further testing.
An ultrasound is an easy, non-invasive diagnostic that will show your doctor the tendons in your ankle. If you have tendon damage or tears your doctor will be able to see them through an ultrasound.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans are expensive but provide an excellent image of the tendons and surrounding tissues in your ankle. Your doctor will discuss with you which diagnostic imaging is best for your injury.
Peroneal Tendonitis Treatment
Peroneal tendonitis treatment is determined based on the severity of your tendon injury. If you are experiencing the signs of peroneal tendonitis contact your doctor so treatment can be started immediately.
In most ankle injuries, RICE is the perfect first step. This acronym is a staple for joint injury and not only will decrease pain but will decrease healing time. Getting you back to your favorite activities fast!
Pain and swelling on the outside of your ankle is a sign that you need to stop exercising and let your ankle rest. Your body needs to heal itself and letting it do just that will, in turn, get you back on your feet quicker. For active individuals, it can be difficult to sit around. Try this adjustable overbed table to make your rest time more productive.
A flexible ice pack is the perfect way to soothe any ache or pain you may have. Try yours today. ( See Product at Amazon )
Icing your ankle after an injury will reduce swelling and pain. Experts agree that twenty minutes of ice therapy every two hours while awake for the first 48-72 hours after an injury is most effective. An ice pack that is flexible will wrap around your ankle giving it complete coverage.
Performing peroneal tendonitis treatment home therapy includes compression on the injured ankle. An ankle sleeve is an easy to use option that will decrease swelling in your ankle and shorten your recovery time.
Elevate your ankle one foot above your heart to help reduce swelling. Our favorite way is to lay on a couch with your injured foot on the armrest!
An NSAID, like ibuprofen or naproxen, will reduce the inflammation in your ankle. This, in turn, reduces your pain and increases the speed of healing. Consult your doctor before taking any medications.
An ankle brace for peroneal tendonitis will help immobilize your ankle. This is crucial after an injury so that you do not cause further damage. Look for an ankle stabilizer brace that is adjustable due to the rapid swelling that can occur on your ankle. A peroneal tendonitis brace is a great investment that will keep you on the road to recovery!
Peroneal Tendonitis Exercises
These peroneal tendonitis exercises and stretches will help with healing your injured tendons. Always start slowly and increase the time and frequency as you become stronger and more flexible.
Lower Leg Calf Stretch
Peroneal tendonitis stretches reduce tension on the tendons. You will feel the stretch in the foot that is placed behind you.
Step 1: Stand near a wall with feet shoulders width apart.
Step 2: Place hands on the wall.
Step 3: Slide the leg that you are stretching back and place the other foot against the wall.
Step 4: Bend the front knee and lean forward
Step 5: Keep the back leg straight.
Step 6: Hold the stretch for twenty seconds and repeat three to five times per day.
Calf Muscle Stretch
This stretch works on the soleus muscle in the lower leg. Tight leg muscles are a contributing factor to peroneal tendonitis, so this stretch is great to both prevent and heal your injury.
Step 1: Stand near a wall with feet shoulders width apart
Step 2: Places hands on the wall.
Step 3: Slide the leg that you are stretching back and the other foot against a wall.
Step 4: Lean against the wall.
Step 5: Bend the back knee, while keeping your feet down.
Step 6: Hold the stretch for fifteen to twenty seconds and repeat three times.
Exercises for Peroneal Tendonitis
Peroneal tendonitis exercises will strengthen the muscles around the peroneal tendon. This will allow the peroneal tendon to decrease its workload.
Step 1: Stand with the injured foot on a large step.
Step 2: Bend your knee as far forward as you can.
Step 3: Lift up and extend all the toes.
Peroneal Tendonitis Recovery
Peroneal tendonitis recovery time will vary based on the severity of your injury. It is always best to take it easy and allow your ankle to fully heal before getting back into running or other physical activity. In most cases, this will take between two to three weeks.
If you have surgery you will not be able to bear weight on that foot for up to six weeks. Expect your doctor to recommend peroneal tendonitis physical therapy after surgery.
Preventing Peroneal Tendonitis
If you are active and have recently increased your physical activity, pain on the outside of your ankle could be peroneal tendonitis. A quick diagnosis with effective treatment will reduce your recovery time. Prevent further damage by resting your injured ankle and exploring one of the treatment options listed above. In no time at all you'll be walking confidently again.
Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.
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