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Peroneal Tendon Injury/Overuse


The peroneal tendons are two tendons that lie immediately behind the outside bone of the ankle. These two tendons are responsible for moving the foot outwards. They balance the ankle and the back of the foot and prevent the foot from turning inwards repetitively. These tendons can be injured due to overuse or acute injury. There is pain behind the ankle, swelling over the peroneal tendons, and tenderness of the tendons.

How did I get this?

It usually occurs because these tendons are subject to excessive repetitive forces during standing, walking, and running. History of ankle injury (e.g. blow to the ankle or ankle sprain) which can displace the peroneal tendons. Certain foot shapes such as a higher arched foot predispose to the development of injury as well.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest is key, often helped by supportive footwear such as a hiking boot or jogger.
  • Applying ice to the area can help to reduce swelling and help to control pain.
  • Short term use of anti-inflammatories and can reduce the swelling around the tendon.
  • Seek podiatry consultation.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist for footwear modification, strapping, bracing, orthotics or other measures to reduce stress on the tendons and allow for rest and inflammation to subside.
  • Orthopaedic surgeon for possible surgical repair if there are large tendon tears.

When will it get better?

Minor cases of this condition that are identified and treated early can usually settle within a few weeks. Recovery after surgery involves several weeks of restricted weight-bearing and immobilization, depending on the type of surgery performed. Following immobilization, therapy can begin. Total time for recovery is usually 6-12 weeks, depending on the extent of surgery.