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Peroneal tendon pains and problems

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What are the peroneal or (fibularis) tendons?

The peroneal (Or Fibularis) muscles run down the outside of the lower leg and turn into tendons which continue into the foot.

There are three peroneal tendons. The peroneus (fibularis) brevis and longus run down the outside of the ankle and into the foot but travel behind the lateral malleolus which is the outside ankle bone (lumpy bone on the outside of the ankle). The brevis connects to the little bony lump on the outside of the midfoot (the styloid process) and the longus turns under the foot and attaches under the medial arch. The third is the peroneus tertius, which is a smaller muscle and tendon and is found more on the front of the ankle and runs to the top of the 5th metatarsal.

As with all tendons, these can become inflamed and painful, they can become chronically problematic and dysfunctional and they can become torn, damaged and thickened. If you notice pain or problems in these areas of the feet/ankles, the peroneal tendons may be to blame, however there are also lots of other complex things in these areas such as the lateral ankle ligaments and the sinus tarsi.

How can I help myself?

If you are getting pain in this area you can try changing your footwear or activities to see if this helps. If you have sustained more of an injury or twisted the foot and think it is possible you may have an avulsion fracture, rest and offloading the area is very important so you don’t do any further damage.

If there is any deformity of the area or severe pain or swelling, or if it does not start to improve after a couple of days of resting, then it is a good idea to seek appropriate medical care.

The following links may be useful.

POLICE therapy

Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medication

When to see a Podiatrist?

A Podiatrist can offer advice at any stage for Peroneal problems, however they are particularly useful if the problem is linked to footwear or foot mechanics or if you have a chronic problem or an issue that keeps coming back.

They can assess your walking, foot shape and mechanics and footwear and advise on possible exercises, footwear changes, foot orthoses and even strapping and padding that may be useful to help the problem. They may also advise on imaging to further assess the cause or severity of the pain/problem.

If you book an appointment, it is wise to take the footwear you wear most of the time to assist in the assessment and decision making processes.

Peroneal tendon pain