What is With This Ankle Pain?


Have you been walking with a limp or experiencing pain in your ankle with each step you take? It’s pretty common to hear about acute ankle injuries, like twists and sprains, but there are also ankle injuries that manifest over time. One of these gradual conditions involves the peroneal tendons that run behind your ankle bones and control outward movement of your ankle. When inflammation or injury occurs in these tendons, often due to overuse or repeated stress, it can lead to a condition called peroneal tendinosis.

What are the symptoms of peroneal tendinosis?

Peroneal tendinosis typically strikes in very active people who engage in repetitive motions with their feet and ankles: athletes, dancers, runners, etc. People with high arches are also at risk for peroneal tendinosis.

Here are the common symptoms:

  • Pain in the back or side of the ankle
  • Swelling in the ankles
  • A weakness in the ankles

How do I treat it?

As with any chronic condition with a gradual development, it is imperative that the underlying cause of the injury is determined. This will help prevent the injury from worsening. Depending on how severe the injury is, the treatment may vary. The goal with treatment is to reduce pain and discomfort and remove the cause of stress on the tendons.

These are typical treatments:

  • Rest
  • An ankle brace to minimize movement
  • Physical therapy to help rebuild muscle strength and reduce swelling after the tendon heals
  • Surgery as a final effort

For most cases of peroneal tendinosis, conservative measures do the trick. However, severe tears or in cases where there are no signs of improvement, your doctor may call for surgery. The first step after noticing any pain, swelling, discomfort, or any other change to your ankle is to call your podiatrist.

Dr. David R. Sullivan here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, is a board-certified podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat any foot and ankle issue, including peroneal tendinosis. If you’re an athlete who has noticed pain in your ankle over time, it could be peroneal tendinosis. To schedule an appointment, contact us today. You can call our conveniently located Westfield, IN office at 317-896-6655.