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What is a peroneal tendon tear?

A peroneal tendon tear, refers to damage or rupture of the peroneal tendons, which are located on the outside of the ankle. The peroneal tendons play a crucial role in stabilizing the foot and ankle during movement.

There are two peroneal tendons: the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis. The peroneus longus runs along the outside of the calf, behind the outer ankle bone (lateral malleolus), and attaches to the inside of the foot. The peroneus brevis runs parallel to the peroneus longus and attaches to the outside of the foot.

What causes peroneal tendon tears?

Peroneal tendon tears can occur as a result of acute injury or repetitive stress on the tendons. Some common causes of peroneal tears include:

  • Ankle sprains: A sudden twisting or rolling of the ankle can strain or tear the peroneal tendons.
  • Overuse or repetitive activities: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive ankle motion, such as running or jumping, can put strain on the peroneal tendons over time.
  • Chronic ankle instability: Repeated ankle sprains or an unstable ankle joint can lead to peroneal tendon damage.
  • Trauma: Direct trauma or impact to the ankle area can cause peroneal tendons to tear.

What are the common treatments for peroneal tendon tears?

Minor peroneal tears or strains may have the potential to heal without surgery, particularly if they are caught early and appropriate conservative treatments are implemented. However, more significant tears or complete ruptures of the peroneal tendons typically do not heal on their own without surgical intervention.

For minor peroneal tears, conservative treatment options may include:

  • Rest: limiting weight-bearing activities and avoiding activities that aggravate the injury.
  • Ice: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Compression: Using compression bandages or wraps to provide support and minimize swelling.
  • Elevation: Keeping the affected leg elevated to help reduce swelling.
  • NSAIDs: Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, as directed by a healthcare professional, to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: Engaging in specific exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles and tendons surrounding the peroneal tendons, improve range of motion, and promote healing.

It is important to note that the success of non-surgical treatment depends on the severity of the tear and the individual’s response to conservative measures. If conservative treatment fails to alleviate symptoms or if the tear is severe, surgical intervention may be needed.

Surgery for peroneal tendon tears typically involves repairing or reattaching the torn tendon to its proper position. An orthopedic specialist or a sports medicine doctor, can evaluate the injury and recommend the most appropriate treatment approach based on the patient’s specific circumstance.


The animation content provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any specific questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.