Peroneal Tendonitis Recovery Time:

Peroneal tendonitis is an inflammation of one or both of the tendons that connect your lower leg to your foot. Most of the time, it’s because the tendons have been overused, but it can also be caused by a sudden injury like an ankle sprain. Most of the time, pain and swelling in your peroneal tendons go away after a few weeks of non-invasive care.

What is tendonitis of the peroneal?

Peroneal tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that run along the outside of your ankle bone and the side of your foot. The muscles in your lower leg are connected to the bones in your foot by these tough bands of tissue. They help keep your foot and ankle stable and balanced, which keeps them from getting hurt.

This type of foot tendonitis is usually caused by overuse, but it can also happen suddenly if you fall or hurt your foot.

Who gets tendonitis in the shin?

Anyone can get peroneal tendonitis, but people who play sports with a lot of ankle movement are more likely to get it. Peroneal tendonitis is also more likely to happen if you:

  • are over 40.
  • Don’t stretch before you do something physical.
  • have certain conditions, like diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout?
  • have hurt their tendons before.
  • Have feet with a high arch.
  • are fat or overweight.
  • Tendons that are tight
  • Smoke.

How common is tendonitis in the shin?

Peroneal tendonitis isn’t as common as Achilles tendonitis or other types of tendonitis in the foot. In one study of more than a thousand runners, only 13 people had peroneal tendonitis, which is less than 1%.

What causes tendonitis in the shin?

Overuse of the tendons can lead to inflammation of the peroneal tendon over time. Or it could happen quickly because of a sudden ankle injury, like a sprain. Tendons or the lubricated sheath that surrounds them can swell, making it hard for them to move smoothly.

What are the signs that you have peroneal tendonitis?

Some of the signs of peroneal tendonitis are:

  • Your ankle tendon hurts from one end to the other.
  • Pain that gets worse when you move around
  • Your tendon might be swollen, red, or warm.
  • Tendons that are thicker and have a lump or nodule that moves along with the tendon

Can your peroneal tendon rupture?

If you don’t treat peroneal tendonitis, it can lead to a tendon tear. This happens if your tendon tears in two or more places. Tendons that are damaged or weak can also cause subluxation, which is when the tendons move out of place. Ruptures or subluxations can cause:

  • weakness or instability in the ankle.
  • Your foot and ankle hurt very badly on the outside.
  • You feel like your tendons are sharp and snapping.

How do you know if you have peroneal tendonitis?

Peroneal tendonitis can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are similar to those of sprains, arthritis, and broken bones in the foot or ankle. One study found that about 60% of the first diagnoses for 40 people with peroneal tendonitis were wrong.

Your doctor will do a physical exam and talk to you about your symptoms, though. They may press on parts of your foot and ankle to see if there is any swelling or pain. Your doctor may also ask you to move your ankle in certain ways so he or she can see how much the joint can move.

Imaging is sometimes needed to make sure you don’t have a broken bone, osteoarthritis, damaged cartilage, or torn tissue in your foot. Your doctor might also tell you to get an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound.

How do you treat peroneal tendonitis?

Most tendon pain and inflammation can be taken care of with conservative treatments in three to four weeks. If tendonitis is caused by another injury, like a sprain, it may take longer to get better.

Some common ways to treat peroneal tendonitis are:

  • Bracing: If you need to run or jump, for example, an ankle brace can support and stabilize your ankle.
  • You may need a soft cast or boot to keep your foot still and take the weight off your tendons so they can heal.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and swelling. In some cases, your doctor might suggest that you get steroid injections into the sheath around the tendon.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist will help you do exercises and stretches to help your foot and ankle get stronger and more flexible again. Your therapist might also suggest that you use ice, heat, or ultrasound.
  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, or RICE, is a method that can be done at home. Don’t do anything hard to get some rest. Every two hours put a cold pack or ice pack on your ankle for 20 minutes. Wrap a compression bandage around your ankle to keep it from swelling and keep it raised, preferably above your heart.

If you have peroneal tendonitis, will you have to get surgery?

If conservative treatments for peroneal tendinitis don’t help, you might need surgery. During a synovectomy, which is a type of surgery, the damaged outer layers of tissue on your peroneal tendons are cut away. Some people may be good candidates for a synovectomy that is less invasive, has smaller cuts, and has a faster recovery time.

What are the dangers of surgery for peroneal tendonitis?

Ankle surgery for peroneal tendonitis has some risks, just like any other surgery, such as:

  1. Bleeding.
  2. Blood thickens.
  3. Infection.
  4. Nerve damage.
  5. tendonitis or ankle pain that comes back.
  6. making scar tissue.

How can peroneal tendonitis be stopped?

Some ways to avoid peroneal tendon pain are:

  • Work up to intense physical activity over time.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Never keep going if your foot or ankle hurts.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Give yourself time to rest between workouts, games, and other physical activities.
  • Before doing any physical activity, stretch to warm up your feet and ankles.
  • Use ankle braces, shoes that support your feet, or other appropriate safety gear.
  • If you have high arches, you should wear orthotics, but only if your doctor tells you to.

How likely is it that someone with peroneal tendonitis will get better?

Most people who have this condition get better in about a month. Talk to your doctor before you return to full-time activities or your sport. If you have surgery for peroneal tendonitis, it will take longer for you to get better. Your lower leg will be in a cast for four to six weeks after surgery. For the first few weeks, you might also need crutches. Your doctor or nurse can tell you when you can put weight back on your ankle. After surgery, most people need physical therapy to get their ankles strong and stable again.

When should you call your doctor or nurse?

Get in touch with your doctor if you:

  • You can’t walk, and you can’t put any weight on your foot or ankle.
  • You can’t move your ankle in any way.
  • feel like something is snapping or popping in your foot or ankle.
  • Sustained, severe foot or ankle pain.
  • Notice if your foot or ankle is swollen or has changed color.

Message from the Cleveland Clinic

Peroneal tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation of the tendons that run along the outside of your foot and ankle. It’s usually caused by overdoing it, and most people get better after a few weeks of taking it easy. But tendonitis that isn’t treated can get worse and cause a tendon to tear. Never keep going even though your foot or ankle hurts. Don’t forget to give your body the rest it needs in between times of hard physical work.


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