Peroneal tendonitis involves inflammation of the peroneal tendons that run at the back part of the lateral malleolus. The condition can cause evident swelling on the exterior ankle.
The peroneal muscle found at the rear part of the lower region of the leg has a tendon running at the back of the lateral malleolus of the ankle. Overuse can also cause the peroneal tendon to rub against bone and become inflamed.
Who are at risk?
- Individuals who run through sloping surfaces which causes significant eversion of the foot. When the foot is rolled outwards, the peroneal tendon is extended transversely over the bone, thus resulting to a rise in the friction among the tendon and bone.
- Having tight calf muscles increases the tension in the peroneal tendon
- Overuse especially among basketball players or dancers
- Those who overpronate the foot
What are the indications?
- Pain and swelling on the exterior of the ankle right beneath the lateral malleolus
- Pain is aggravated during activity but settles with rest.
- Pain is produced when pressing on the peroneal tendon on the exterior of the ankle.
- Pain is produced if the peroneal muscles are extended by inversion of the foot or turning it inwards or attempting to do the reverse against resistance.
Adequate rest is a vital component in managing peroneal tendonitis. Since it is an overuse injury, continuing with activity will not allow the inflammation to settle and the injury to heal. It is possible to perform other activities such as cycling or swimming to maintain fitness. Remember that if pain is triggered or the injury becomes worse, stop any activity.
Apply an ice pack over the sore area for 10 minutes every hour until the symptoms settle. Observe the PRICE method (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation) to minimize the pain, swelling and inflammation.
A peroneal tendonitis brace can be used to protect the area as well as keep the tendon warm. In addition, a neoprene ankle wrap is also ideal.
A taping technique for peroneal tendonitis can provide adequate support and protection to the ankle. The doctor might prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to minimize the pain and inflammation.