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The peroneal tendons, located behind the outer ankle bone, connect the middle part of the foot and under the foot in the arch area. Different types of peroneal tendon injury include tendinitis, which is inflammation of the tendons; subluxation, which is typical of an ankle sprain; acute tears; and tendonosis, or degenerative tears, because of an accumulation of pain over a long period of time. Athletes are at the greatest risk of peroneal tendon injury because of the constant pressure that they put on their ankles.
Tendinitis, the most frequent peroneal tendon injury, occurs when the tendon swells and can result in strong sensation of pain in the ankle. A person will feel tendinitis in the ankle after an ankle strain or subluxation, and it might force the person to reduce pressure and weight on the ankle through the use of crutches and/or a walking boot. General soreness in the ankle also can be the result of tendinitis and should lead to a doctor visit if the pain does not subside.
Subluxation, normally caused by an ankle sprain, is when the tendons roll out of position and became unstable. If one feels his or her ankle suddenly and awkwardly move inward, he or she likely has experienced subluxation and should receive immediate treatment. Severe ankle sprains, which might cause a tendon to rupture, can be more painful and damaging then bone breaks and require surgical repair.
Acute tears, caused by frequent trauma to the tendons, are the most preventable peroneal tendon injury and normally can be avoided through proper rest and treatment of the ankle. Athletes who come back too quickly from ankle injuries are subject to further injury through acute tears. A person should ensure that he or she has fully recovered from an ankle injury before returning to work or the playing field to avoid putting himself or herself at risk of re-injuring an unstable tendon.
Tendonosis, degenerative tears of your ankle tendons, generally result from the buildup of acute tears from overuse and the overstretching of the tendon. Acute tears can cause the height of the arch to increase, which in turn puts greater pressure on the ankle tendons. People born with high arches are also at greater risk of tendonosis. Instead of a full tendon rupture, as in severe subluxation, the tendons split lengthwise from tendonosis and are likely to require surgical repair.
In the majority of peroneal tendon injury cases, an initial injury leads to further injury, often because people do not receive the proper treatment. The nature of athletics often causes athletes to rush back from injury, not allowing for the proper amount of rest and rehabilitation to allow the initial injury to properly heal. Runners and athletes who run great distances are especially prone to peroneal tendon injury and should be aware of the different types of this injury and the proper types of treatment.