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Peroneal Tendonitis in Athletes

Author: Craig Payne
by Craig Payne
Posted: Dec 05, 2023
peroneal tendonitis

Peroneal tendonitis is a condition that affects the peroneal tendons, located on the outside of the ankle. These tendons play a crucial role in stabilizing the foot and ankle during movement. When inflammation occurs, it can result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. This essay aims to explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for peroneal tendonitis, shedding light on a common yet often overlooked ailment.

Anatomy and Function of Peroneal Tendons:

The peroneal tendons consist of two main parts, the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis, running along the outer side of the lower leg and attaching to the foot. These tendons function to stabilize the ankle and prevent excessive rolling of the foot, aiding in balance and mobility during activities such as walking and running.

Causes of Peroneal Tendonitis:

Peroneal tendonitis typically stems from overuse or repetitive stress on the tendons. This can result from activities that involve frequent ankle movement, such as running, hiking, or sports that require sudden changes in direction. Improper footwear, muscle imbalances, or structural issues with the foot and ankle may contribute to the development of peroneal tendonitis.


Common symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include pain on the outer side of the ankle, swelling, and tenderness. Individuals may experience pain during activities that stress the tendons and may notice a feeling of instability or weakness in the ankle. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to chronic issues and further complications.


Diagnosing peroneal tendonitis involves a thorough examination by a healthcare professional. This may include a review of medical history, a physical examination, and imaging studies such as X-rays or MRI scans to assess the extent of tendon damage. An accurate diagnosis is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan.

Treatment Options:

Treatment for peroneal tendonitis typically begins with conservative measures. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can help alleviate acute symptoms. Physical therapy is often recommended to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and improve flexibility. Supportive footwear, orthotic inserts, and modifications to physical activities may be suggested to reduce strain on the tendons. In more severe cases or when conservative measures fail, medical interventions such as corticosteroid injections or, in rare instances, surgery may be considered to address persistent inflammation or tendon damage.

Prevention and Rehabilitation:

Preventing peroneal tendonitis involves proper warm-up, stretching, and strengthening exercises to ensure the ankle and surrounding muscles are adequately prepared for physical activities. Wearing appropriate footwear and addressing biomechanical issues early on can significantly reduce the risk of developing this condition. Rehabilitation after an episode of peroneal tendonitis is essential to prevent recurrence and restore full function.


Recognizing the symptoms, seeking timely medical attention, and adopting preventive measures are crucial for maintaining ankle health and overall mobility. By understanding the complexities of peroneal tendonitis, individuals can take proactive steps to ensure the continued well-being of their ankles and avoid the potential long-term consequences of this common yet treatable condition.

About the Author

Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.

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Author: Craig Payne
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Craig Payne

Member since: Aug 16, 2020
Published articles: 254

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