If you experience pain on the outside of your foot or leg you may be experiencing Peroneal Tendinopathy. A common cause of this is an injury to the peroneal tendon. The peroneal tendon supports the ankle and helps pronate the foot (roll the foot in).
We have two peroneal muscles, that work together to stabilize the foot and ankle. The larger peroneal tendon is called the Peroneal Longus and the shorter peroneal tendon is called the Peroneal Brevis. The peroneal muscles start in the outer leg before turning into tendons as they run around the outside aspect of the ankle. Both tendons then insert into the lateral aspect of the foot. Pain be felt at any of these points in the leg, ankle, or foot and could be coming from one of the muscles, or sometimes both.
Causes for Peroneal Tendinopathy Include:
- Flat feet or high arched feet causing strain to the muscle, generally from overactivity or overstretching of the soft tissues.
- Footwear , particularly shoes that do not provide enough support and have worn down on the outside heel.
- Direct trauma to the tendon.
- Severe ankle sprains resulting in damage to this tendon.
- Chronic ankle instability or weakness.
Symptoms of Peroneal Tendon Injury:
- Pain on the outer aspect of the leg, outside of the ankle, or outside of the foot.
- Swelling, bruising, redness, heat in these areas.
- Unstable and/ or weak ankles.
- Loss of strength or function of the foot or leg.
- Walking with a limp.
- Possible popping or clicking sound when walking.
Treatment for Peroneal Tendinopathy Include:
- Orthotics to correct foot posture and foot biomechanics.
- Footwear advice to offer more ankle support.
- Bracing or offloading if required.
- Shockwave therapy to reduce pain and fast track healing within the tendon.
- Tool assisted massage, dry needling and foot mobililisation to release the tendon and treat underlying ankle instability and weakness.
- Rehabilisation program and exercise prescriptions to strengthen the muscles and improve function.
If you are experiencing pain of the outer leg or foot, Well Heeled Podiatry can undertake a proper assessment and diagnosis. We can offer all of the above treatment options to reduce your pain and get you functioning properly again.
Seeking advice and treatment early is advised. This is to prevent further deterioration, tearing, and possible rupture of the tendon.