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What Is the Peroneus Longus?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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The peroneus longus muscle is part of the lower leg and is required to turn the ankle. It also helps to pull the ankle upwards, which is known as plantar flexion — something that is important for the stability of the knee as well as the ankle. There are three peroneus muscles located on the lateral side of the lower leg, although the longus is closest to the skin. The muscle is used in many daily activities, and it is most active while walking on uneven surfaces where it is required for stability.

The peroneus longus muscle originates at the top of the fibula — the smaller of the two main bones that make up the lower leg. From there it runs down the side of the leg and attaches to the bottom of the first metatarsal in the foot. It is part to the body’s nervous system via the superficial peroneal nerve. The other muscles in the peroneal group are the peroneus brevis and tertius.

Although the peroneus longus is associated with plantar flexion and eversion, or turning, of the ankle, it’s also essential for stability of the foot. Due to its location on the outside of the calf muscles, the peroneus muscle group is important when it comes to stabilizing the leg above the ankle. This becomes more apparent when standing on one leg — without the peroneus longus the leg would be drawn inwards.

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Due to its importance as a leg stabilizer, the peroneus longus sometimes need to be strengthened. This is especially true for athletes who require a greater level of stability and control than most people. Strengthening exercises for the peroneus longus include calf raises with a bent knee. To perform these exercises, the athlete should stand on one leg on the edge of a step with his or her non-weight bearing leg behind the other. The heel is then lifted as high off the step as possible and held for several seconds before being lowered back down.

As with any muscle that is used in many daily activities, the peroneus longus can suffer from over-use injuries. For example, peroneal tendinopathy can affect the tendon which attaches to the muscle. Symptoms of peroneal tendinopathy include pain on the outside of the ankle, pain that gets worse during sport and extremely tight calf muscles. Treatment for this sort of tendinopathy includes rest, calf stretching and in some cases sports massage.

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andee
Post 4

@sunshined - That is a good idea to strengthen those muscles before you go. I do a lot of cross country skiing, so my peroneus longus muscles get a good work out in the winter.

What I need to do is start doing strengthening exercises like this early in the fall before it even starts getting cold outside.

If I did this, my legs and ankles would be in much better shape by the time cross country ski season starts. Usually it always takes me a few weeks to get in shape and get my muscles used to the extra work.

If I was in shape before I went the first time, it wouldn't take me nearly as long to build up the strength I need for a long day on my skis.

sunshined
Post 3

I do strengthening exercises to build up my peroneus longus muscles before I go on a ski trip. I only go skiing a few times a year, and I use muscles I didn't even know I had.

Most of the time my calves and ankles get really sore, so I decided I needed to strengthen them before I took another ski trip.

It doesn't take doing very many of these exercises to realize how out of shape these muscles are. If I over do it, I am really sore the next day. This means I have to start early and work at it gradually.

The last time I went skiing I could tell a big difference. Usually by the end of the day my calves are throbbing and my ankles are sore. This time I felt much stronger and didn't feel like I needed to quit skiing by noon.

LisaLou
Post 2

My sister fell on the ice one winter and ended up having all kinds of trouble with her leg and ankle. Somehow this caused a peroneus longus tear and it took her a long time to recover from this.

She still feels somewhat unsteady on her feet when she walks. You can tell that she really favors her other leg when she walks. She was especially nervous when winter came around again.

She didn't have to have any kind of surgery, but took pain medication and ended up going through physical therapy to get strength in her muscles back.

John57
Post 1

I had a peroneus longus injury many years ago when I worked in the bean fields getting rid of the weeds. We called this 'walking beans', and although it was hard work, it was great summer money.

I grew up in the country of an agricultural community, so we didn't have many other options when it came to making money in the summer time.

Many times you are walking on uneven ground and stepping on big clods of dirt that you don't realize are there until it's too late.

My muscles weren't used to all of this strain, and I ended up with this peroneus longus injury. About the only thing that could be done for it was rest.

I wasn't too disappointed about not going out in the field, but my paycheck was also much less than I was hoping it would be.

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