If the peroneal tendon is overused, it leads to peroneal tendonitis. One of the important parts of the treatment for peroneal tendonitis are the exercises.
The peroneal tendons are located behind the outer ankle bone. They help in controlling the position of the feet, while walking. Peroneal tendonitis is a condition, which is caused when the peroneal tendons glide within the fibrous tunnel located behind the lateral malleolus. Repetitive action causes irritation to the tendons, which in turn leads to inflammation. Often overloading of the tendons also causes the condition. It is the location of this injury, which makes it very difficult to heal. Along with the location, there is another reason why these injuries take longer to heal. There is limited supply of blood to the tendons and they are also very fragile. Before reading on treatment measure, we will read on the causes and symptoms of this condition.
Peroneal Tendonitis Causes
The most prominent cause of peroneal tendonitis is excess stress placed on the peroneal tendon. The stress can either be acute or chronic overloading. Depending on the stress, the condition may flare up immediately or take some time to show any symptoms. It is seen that athletes are more prone to the condition. Running on uneven surface, racket sports, skiing, hiking, etc., are some of the sports, where the person is susceptible to the condition. In a number of cases, it is seen that advanced age is responsible for the condition, as the tendons lose their elasticity and become brittle.
Peroneal Tendonitis Symptoms
The most prominent symptom of ankle tendonitis is pain closer to the ankle and foot. A number of athletes suffer from this pain while playing their sports and also after they finish playing. However, a person suffering from acute peroneal tendonitis may suffer from pain all through the day. Swelling is seen around the ankle and sometimes also on the foot. Along with swelling, the person may feel a hot or burning sensation around the tendon. Stiffness in the foot will also be seen and the person may find it extremely difficult to stretch the leg and feet without pain. In most cases, the person will experience pain when one goes to bed and also on waking up in the morning.
Peroneal Tendonitis Treatment
Treatment for acute or chronic peroneal tendonitis takes longer, as the tendons are notorious for taking time to heal. Hence, one has to be patient, when peroneal tendonitis is to be treated. The first measure that needs to be adopted is to reduce the load placed on the peroneal tendons. It is important that there is minimum amount of physical activity, which will give the tendon some time to heal. If the pain is excessive, then athletic tape can be used to bind the foot. In some severe cases, cast or splint can also be used to keep the foot in place.
If there is swelling observed on and around the tendon, then ice packs or compression proves to be helpful. Ice packs will have to be applied once every couple of hours for 15 to 20 minutes for a few days, however, make sure that ice is not applied directly on the skin. It is best to keep the foot on an elevation, which in turn will help in reducing swelling. Anti-inflammatory medicines can be taken to ease pain and swelling. Although over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can be taken, it is best to consult a health care professional about the same.
In most cases, when the tendon is on the road of recovery, the patient is referred to a physiotherapist. Often peroneal tendonitis exercises are prescribed by the physiotherapist. The aim of these exercises is to increase flexibility, balance and strength in the tendon. It is important that one does not start doing the exercises without consulting a health care professional, as it will do more harm than good.
If it is a severe case of peroneal tendonitis, then surgery may be required for treating the condition. The tendons may have to be repaired, if immense damage has been caused to them. Surgery is recommended if one or more tendons are torn and the condition is severe and surgical intervention is necessary. Normally the foot is placed in a cast after the surgery. After the cast is removed, rehabilitation exercises are recommended.
It is best not to decide the line of treatment for peroneal tendonitis by oneself. Consulting a health care professional is the best way out. Only after taking a look at the tendon will the health care professional be able to assess the problem and recommend the right treatment. While doing the exercises, if any kind of pain is observed, it is important that the same is brought to the attention of the health care professional.