In the outer portion of the lower leg, there are two muscles called the peroneous longs and brevis attached to tendons that wrap around the lateral malleolus, or outer ankle bone. They insert into the outer foot and are responsible for turning the foot outward and contributing to the overall dynamic stability of the ankle.
Poor mechanics of the ankle joint, either as a result of overpronation or ligament sprain, or a repetitive injury can lead to Peroneal Tendinitis. With a flatted arch in the foot, the peroneal muscles will tend to get overworked and overtime shortens, causing more friction on the tendons that lie next to the outer ankle bone. This will cause inflammation, pain, and swelling in the area. Certain activities, such as running, may contribute to peroneal tendinitis, especially if the biomechanics are not corrected with orthotics and proper running shoes.
- Pain in the outer ankle or lower leg
- Swelling in the outer ankle
PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR
A physical therapist will use modalities like ice and ultrasound on the site of inflammation. In the acute stage of your condition, you will be advised to avoid activities that will aggravate the tendinitis. Gentle range of motion exercises for the ankle and foot and stretches for the lower leg muscles will be recommended until swelling and pain subside. Your therapist will then add ankle strengthening exercises to your program to correct muscle imbalances and improve ankle stability.
Toward the end of your rehabilitation program, your therapist will also assess your footwear and orthotics to ensure proper mechanics of the foot and ankle as you transition to a gym routine, running, or sports. This will help decrease the likelihood of re-injuring your ankle.