14 Jun Treatment for Peroneal Tendon Dysfunction
Peroneal tendon dysfunction (or dislocation) is a condition that causes one to experience immense pain around the outside of the foot and along the outside of the lower leg.
Understanding Peroneal Tendon Dysfunction
The peroneal tendons join the Peroneus Brevis and Peroneus Longus muscles of the lower leg. These two muscles provide for foot eversion (capability of rolling the foot outwards). The peroneal tendons also stretch out over the ankle bone and under the foot to aid in support of the foot arc. For added stability, they are held secure by the peroneal retinaculum.
Naturally, any injury to the peroneal retinaculum, brought about by overstretching or tearing, consequently leads to the dislocation of the peroneal tendons. This eventually leads to the condition in question: peroneal tendon dysfunction.
Activities that can cause Peroneal Tendon Dysfunction
Sports activities such as tennis, football, basketball, and other athletic activities place their participants at a higher risk of developing peroneal tendon dysfunction. Sports that involve foot eversion dynamics, for example, skiing, records the highest cases of peroneal tendon dislocation.
This condition can also affect non-athletes, and typically presents itself during cases of ankle sprains.
Individuals with a history of tendonitis (tendon inflammation) can gradually develop peroneal tendon dysfunction.
This injury can also come about as a result of a sports injury such as ankle sprains.
Signs and Symptoms of Peroneal Tendon Dysfunction
A discrete snapping sound signifying the slipping of the peroneal tendon from the ankle bone during the time of injury.
Change of the foot arc height. Peroneal tendons are sometimes referred to as ‘stirrup’ tendons due to the support they offer to the foot arc. When dislocated, the peroneal tendons lose the tension needed to hold up the arch of the foot. As such, a change in the height of the foot arch is noted.
Tenderness, and swelling of the ankle accompanied by foot instability.
Diagnosis of Peroneal Tendon Dysfunction
A physical examination by a registered podiatrist will reveal varying degrees of swelling, depending on the level of gravity of the injury. Tenderness of the affected area is experienced, especially after pressure is applied to it.
Imaging such as X-rays and MRIs can be incorporated by the podiatrist to confirm the tendon dislocation. They can also conclusively establish the presence of other unrelated tissue or bone injuries.
It is important to promptly treat peroneal tendon dysfunction before it leads to further complications such as tendon rupture, or risk changing the shape of the arc of your foot.
Depending on the level of severity of this condition, a podiatrist can recommend any of the following options:
- Use of crutches to avoid putting any weight on the injured foot. The foot can also be placed in a cast to limit mobility to promote healing.
- Application of splints, foot wrapping as well as the use of ice packs to help reduce swelling.
- Use of an orthotic device to provide support to the foot and ankle.
If nonsurgical treatment options fail to control and treat this condition, surgical treatment may be carried out. Corrective surgery is undertaken to tighten the peroneal retinaculum using stitches and metallic anchors drilled into the fibula.
If any of the signs or symptoms of peroneal tendon dysfunction are familiar to you, please call Oasis Foot and Ankle for top treatment. We have Scottsdale and Phoenix podiatrists who offer expert foot and ankle treatment!