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What is peroneal tendinopathy?



Peroneal tendinopathy is swelling within the peroneal tendons as they pass behind the bony bump on the outside of the ankle. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for peroneal tendinopathy.


How does peroneal tendinopathy happen?



Peroneal tendinopathy is caused by overuse of the peroneal tendons. The peroneal tendons pass behind the bony bump on the outside of the ankle and transmit forces from the peroneal muscles to bones in the foot. Repetitive use of the peroneal muscles and, therefore, the peroneal tendons can cause microscopic tears within the tendon. The body commences an inflammatory response, called a tendinopathy, in an attempt to heal these tears.


What are the symptoms of peroneal tendinopathy?



Peroneal tendinopathy causes a gradual onset of pain in the peroneal tendons as they pass around the bony bump on the outside of the ankle. At first, the tendons may only be painful and tight after exercise. The initial symptoms of peroneal tendinopathy are often ignored because they disappear quickly with walking about or applying heat to the outside of the ankle. If you continue to exercise, the tendinopathy can progress so that your pain may begin to be present for longer periods during exercise until it is present all of the time. This can interfere with your performance.

Potential symptoms may include:

What should I do if I have peroneal tendinopathy?



Peroneal tendinopathy does not get better on its own without treatment. If you suspect that you have peroneal tendinopathy, you should arrange an initial assessment with a physiotherapist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can ice your peroneal tendons with crushed ice or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a moist towel for 15–20 minutes every couple of hours.


What shouldn’t I do if I have peroneal tendinopathy?



If you suspect that you have peroneal tendinopathy, you should not ignore your problem. Although your pain may reduce as you exercise, the exercise you are doing may be causing further damage to the tendons. If you cause further damage it will prolong your recovery.


Physiotherapy treatment for peroneal tendinopathy.



Physiotherapy is important in the treatment of peroneal tendinopathy. Initially, your physiotherapist will diagnose your problem. Following the initial assessment, your physiotherapist will be able to devise an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment may involve: Your physiotherapist will also be able to explain why you developed peroneal tendinopathy and address this during your recovery to prevent a reoccurrence when you return to full activity and sport.


Could there be any long-term effects from peroneal tendinopathy?



Peroneal tendinopathy does not cause long-term effects if it correctly diagnosed and appropriately treated. If not, it can lead to prolonged pain on the outside of the ankle and a lengthy lay-off from activity and sport.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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