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Peroneal Tendonitis and Treatment Options

Peroneal tendonitis is a rather uncommon injury that can cause considerable pain on the outside of the foot and possibly along the outer area of the lower leg. Since this malady can be misdiagnosed by general doctors as plantar fasciitis, it is very important to see a foot care specialist to receive the correct diagnosis and care.

There are two peroneal ligaments, the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis which form parallel to each other on the outside of the foot. These eventually join with the corresponding muscles of the lower leg. These two tendons work concomitantly to roll your foot outwards and they also assist your calf muscles in flexing the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of your foot. These tendons also add to ankle stability during weight-bearing exercises.

The symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include:

  • Tenderness and pain along one or both tendons on the outside of the foot
  • Pain while doing exercises such as running
  • Soreness and stiffness when you roll your foot outwards or during passive stretching

Although you may be feeling extreme pain from this injury, peroneal tendonitis generally responds very well to physical therapy and home treatments, with surgery rarely being required.

Treatment options may include the following:

  • Rest for the affected foot
  • Stretching of the calf muscles
  • Strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Balancing exercises
  • Icing and contrast baths
  • Ultrasound
  • Whirlpool and paraffin baths
  • Custom fitted orthotic shoe inserts

Should your tendons not favorably respond to rest and physical therapy exercises after a few weeks, an orthotic insert may be needed. The use of standard over-the-counter inserts is not recommended for this particular injury since they shift the stress to the outside of the foot, in the area of the sore tendons.

An X-ray will be taken of the foot and your doctor may recommend an MRI to rule out any major problems such as severe tendon damage. A custom orthopedic shoe insert can then be used with the emphasis being to shift the stress away from the injured tendons.

For peroneal tendonitis or any other problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, the podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.

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