The two peroneal tendons are located on the outer side of the ankle and function to stabilize and move the ankle. Peroneal tendonitis/tendon tears can occur from a previous ankle sprain with injury to the tendon or from chronic looseness of the ankle following a sprain. In rare cases, there may be poor mechanics of the ankle and foot leading to overuse and injury to the tendons.
If there is pain noted along the course of the peroneal tendons, an x-ray may be done to check the foot alignment and also to check for any fracture or looseness (laxity) of the ankle and/or foot. An ultrasound may be used to check the gliding of the tendons and look for any small tears or scar tissue within the tendons.
If there is a suspected tear, an MRI may be necessary to check the region of tear and how large or extensive the tear may be. Furthermore, an MRI is used to check for added ankle damage such as ligament tears, ankle arthritis and possible cartilage damage.
In cases of tendonitis, an orthotic or custom insole may be made to stabilize the foot and ankle. For a short period of time, it may be necessary to wear an ankle brace or boot to rest the tendon and allow the region to heal and rest. The tendon is then treated with physical therapy for added strength and reduction of inflammation.
If there is a tear noted, the tendon can be repaired and fixed. This is done through an open approach with repair of the tendon. If there is cartilage damage or loose or torn ligaments noted, these would also be repaired at the same time.