Peroneal tendonitis is an injury caused by overuse of the peroneal tendons. The peroneal tendons are located on the outside of the ankle and attach the bones on each side of the ankle to the bottom of your feet. When these tendons are overused, it results in pain on the outside of the ankles.
The most common symptom of peroneal tendonitis is pain on the outside of the ankle below the lateral malleolus (the bony protrusion of the ankle). Other symptoms include:
- Swelling on the outside of the ankle
- Pain that becomes worse during activity but improves with rest
- Pain when pressing on the outside of the ankle
Diagnosing Peroneal Tendonitis
If you are experiencing outer ankle pain, consult with your podiatrist who will be able to evaluate the cause. There are two ways that a podiatrist will diagnose the condition:
- Physical exam. Your podiatrist will stretch the peroneal muscles by inverting your foot inwards to see if there is pain. They may also apply pressure to the peroneal tendon to check if there is sensitivity.
- Imaging tests. Tests such as an MRI or ultrasound may be ordered to confirm the condition.
There are various treatment options for peroneal tendonitis. Your podiatrist will recommend treatment based on the severity of the injury. Some treatment options include:
- Rest. Since this injury is due to overuse, it is important to rest in order to heal the tendons.
- Ice. Apply a cold therapy such as ice to the area to reduce swelling and inflammation in the peroneal tendons. Ice should be used for 10 minutes each hour then reduced as your pain improves.
- Support. Your ankle may be taped for support and protection or you may be given a brace to wear while your injury heals.
- Medication. To reduce pain and inflammation, your doctor may prescribe an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
- Stretching. Stretching the tendons can help prevent future injury and will eliminate stiffness. Massage can also be beneficial to help ease stiffness and pain.
When to See Your Podiatrist
If you are experiencing pain in your ankles or feet, contact Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry. We offer a free initial consultation and can create a customized plan to address your ankle pain and get you back on your feet as soon as possible. To set up an appointment, fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET.