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Peroneal Tendinopathy | A Common Cause of Lateral Ankle Pain | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist

Peroneal tendinopathy is a common condition that affects the peroneal tendons located on the outside of the ankle. These tendons, play a crucial role in stabilising the ankle and foot during movement. When these tendons become inflamed or irritated, it can result in pain, swelling, and difficulty with walking or running.


A painful right ankle
Peroneal tendinopathy typically causes pain close to the lateral malleolus

One of the primary causes of peroneal tendinopathy is overuse or repetitive stress. This often occurs in athletes or individuals who engage in activities that involve repetitive ankle movements, such as running, jumping, or dancing. Additionally, individuals with a high arch, supinated foot position or those who have experienced a previous ankle injury may be at a higher risk of developing peroneal tendinopathy.


The symptoms of peroneal tendinopathy can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. Common symptoms include pain on the outside of the ankle, especially with activity or when pushing off the foot, swelling and tenderness around the ankle, and a feeling of weakness or instability. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience persistent or worsening pain along the outside of your ankle, as untreated peroneal tendinopathy can lead to further complications such as tendon tears or ruptures.


Diagnosing peroneal tendinopathy typically involves a physical examination by a podiatrist or physiotherapist, who may also arrange imaging studies such as x-rays, ultrasound or MRI scans to confirm the diagnosis and assess the extent of the damage to the tendons.


Treatment for peroneal tendinopathy usually includes some degree of rest/activity modification, and physical therapy to strengthen the ankle and improve range of movement. In some cases, a brace or orthotic device may be recommended to provide additional support to the ankle.


In more severe cases of peroneal tendinopathy, where conservative treatments have not been effective, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged tissue in the tendons. However, surgery is typically considered a last resort and is only recommended when other treatment options have been exhausted.


Preventing peroneal tendinopathy involves taking steps to reduce the risk of overuse or injury to the tendons. This includes gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity, and incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine. It is also important to listen to your body and rest if you experience pain or discomfort in the ankle, as continuing to train through significant pain can lead to further damage to the tendons.


In conclusion, peroneal tendinopathy is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort on the outer side of the ankle. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of peroneal tendinopathy, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further complications. By following the recommended treatment guidelines and taking steps to prevent overuse or injury to the tendons, you can reduce your risk of developing peroneal tendinopathy, generally prevention is always better than cure.


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