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Strengthening Key Muscles

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What This Means to You

Peroneal Tendonitis/Tear

Tendon Inflammation

Tendon injuries to the foot and ankle can elevate until the tendon tears or ruptures.

These injuries most commonly occur in individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion. People with higher arches are also at a higher risk.

Peroneal tendon injuries may be acute (occurring suddenly) or chronic (developing over a period of time). These injuries include:

Tendonitis
An inflammation of one or both tendons caused by activities involving repetitive use of the tendon, overuse of the tendon or trauma.

Acute tears
Caused by repetitive activity or trauma, these tears may lead to a change in the shape of the foot, in which the arch may become higher.

Degenerative tears (tendonosis)
Usually due to overuse and occur over long periods of time - often years. In degenerative tears, the tendon is like taffy that has been overstretched until it becomes thin and eventually frays.

Subluxation
Occurs when one or both tendons have slipped out of their normal position. In some cases, subluxation is due to a condition in which a person is born with a variation in the shape of the bone or muscle. In other cases, subluxation occurs following trauma, such as an ankle sprain.

Early treatment of a subluxation is critical, since a tendon that continues to sublux (move out of position) is more likely to tear or rupture.

Treating Peroneal Tears

Treatment depends on the type of peroneal tendon injury and include:

  • Immobilization. A cast or splint may be used to keep the foot and ankle from moving and allow the injury to heal.
  • Medications. Oral or injected anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve the pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy. Ice, heat or ultrasound therapy may be used to reduce swelling and pain. Exercises can be added to strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion and balance.
  • Bracing. The surgeon may provide a brace to use for a short while or during activities requiring repetitive ankle motion.
  • Surgery. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon or tendons and perhaps the supporting structures of the foot.
Regardless of which treatment option is right for you, physical therapy is an important part of rehabilitation. Once you recover, you can get back to enjoying your pain-free mobility—your freedom.
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