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Peroneal Tendinitis: Outer Ankle Pain

Size is not always a great indicator of value or importance. An emerald chip is worth far more than a large chunk of fool’s gold. The tiny bones in your inner ear are responsible for your hearing. The small peroneal tendons help stabilize your ankle joint to allow you to walk, run, and be active. Although not as well-known as the neighboring tendon named after a Greek hero, the peroneal tendons are important—and peroneal tendinitis can significantly impair your stability and cause outer ankle pain.

Where Are the Peroneal Tendons?

These smaller tendons connect long, thin muscles on the outside of your leg to the outside of your foot. The tendons run down around the outside of your ankle, behind the bony protrusion there, to attach to the bones on the side and underneath your foot. They help stabilize your ankle and allow you to rotate your foot to the outside. They are extremely important for your ability to adjust to uneven ground and handle rapid side-to-side movements, particularly in sports.

Inflaming Your Ankle Support

Outer Ankle Pain

You can injure these particular tendons several different ways, including through ankle sprains. Peroneal tendinitis, however, is an overuse issue. Anyone can develop it, though it’s particularly common for athletes and generally active people.

These tendons have to glide against the bony protrusion on the outside of your ankle whenever they are used. With intense or repetitive activities, this motion can lead to irritating wear and tear in the connective tissue. You develop uncomfortable inflammation and swelling around the tendons. This makes it increasingly painful for you to be active and keep your ankle stable. It can also affect your ability to adjust to uneven ground when you stand or walk. Typically, the pain increases when you’re active and will decrease at least somewhat when you rest.

Taking Care of the Pain

Like other overuse injuries, peroneal tendinitis does not improve on its own. Without active treatment, it will only get worse and contribute to more stability issues in your lower limbs. Fortunately, treating the problem isn’t difficult. Our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists will carefully examine your lower limbs to accurately diagnose the condition and rule out other causes of outer ankle pain. Then we’ll help you establish a treatment plan that meets your needs.

The most important factor in your treatment will be rest. This will mean taking a break from any athletic activities and limiting how much time you spend walking or standing on the effected foot. In advanced cases, you might even need to immobilize your foot in a special boot to allow the tendons to relax enough to heal.

Other treatments involve addressing the inflammation and rebuilding your strength. Ice the outside of your ankle regularly to combat inflammation and swelling. Once the pain has disappeared, you’ll need to stretch the tendons to eliminate any stiffness and strengthen them with physical therapy exercises to help them handle stress again. This helps prevent re-injury in the future.

Peroneal tendinitis has the power to make your favorite activities painful and destabilize a major joint. Like other overuse issues, though, prompt treatment can eliminate your pain and help you avoid more serious issues in the future. Our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists will help you take care of all your tendons, no matter their size, so your feet stay healthy and strong. Make an appointment online or by calling (702) 839-2010 to reach our Las Vegas offices.