Peroneal Tendon Tears / Dislocations

1) What are the peroneal tendons? 

On the outside of your leg, you have two muscles – Peroneal Longus and Brevis. These two muscles then become tendons around your ankle and travel behind the outer ankle bone called the fibula. One of them – peroneal brevis continues and on the outside of the foot and attaches to the 5th metatarsal and the other one – peroneal longus travels under the mid foot and attaches to the 1st metatarsal. These tendons are responsible to extending your foot / ankle and are important in keeping your ankle stable.

2) Can the peroneal tendons tear? Dislocate? 

  • YES! Mostly due to trauma, such as an ankle sprain, or a fall. Sometimes injury to the peroneal tendons can be confused with an ankle sprain. The tendons can also displace from their location and dislocate causing instability and pain. It is important to seek a podiatrist / foot and ankle specialist for assessment such as Dr. Perez.
  • You can read  more about ankle instability:

3) Can the tendons heal on their own?  

  • Tendons usually take 6 to 8 weeks to heal which can be frustrating especially if you are very active as most New Yorkers are since we walk everywhere! Most likely you will be placed in a CAM boot and allowed to walk but with the boot on. However, if there is no improvement, Dr. Perez will order an MRI to assess the tendons and determine if there is dislocation or a definitive tear and Dr. Perez will adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

3) Can the tendons heal on their own?  

  • At Flex Foot Ankle Dr. Perez will exhaust conservative treatment first. However, depending on the pathology either dislocation or tear and the type and extend of tear, surgery may be required. Dr. Perez will recommend surgery if conservative treatment has failed. The surgery will repair your tendon and remove the inflammed / diseased tissue from the tendons. If the tendons have dislocated then the retinaculum – a ligament that holds them in place needs to be repaired. Surgery takes about 30 minutes and you are placed in a splint to immobilize your leg until your first post-op appointment which is usually about days later.

5) What else can be done aside from surgery?

  • Aside from a period of immobilization, bracing, and physical therapy, another modality for conservative treatment is platelet rich plasma injections or PRP. Studies have now shown that it has a beneficial effect in healing. The process involves drawing your blood and spinning it down to separate the platelets which are then injected into tendon. You can read more about PRP here.
  • Also, Dr. Perez has used PRP on herself for a sprained ligament and was back to dancing in 3 inch heels in 10 days!

Make sure to seek the expert advise of Dr. Perez at Flex Foot and Ankle PLLC. She is an athlete and understands the importance of getting you back to moving. Make your appointment online today! click here