Peroneal Tendon Rupture

ExitCare ImagePeroneal tendon rupture is a complete tear in one of the two peroneal tendons, on the outside of the ankle. These tendons attach two muscles (peroneus longus and peroneus brevis) to the bones of the ankle. These two muscles are used to straighten the foot, (standing on "tippy toes" or jumping), and for turning the foot to the outside. A rupture of one of these tendons impairs the ankle's ability to perform these motions.



Peroneal tendon ruptures are often due to persistent (chronic) injury, but may also occur from severe (acute) injury. The peroneal tendons lie in a groove on the side of the ankle. Repeated, stressful movements may wear these tendons down over time, causing them to rupture. The tendon may also rupture if a severe injury places a force on one of the tendons, that is greater than it can handle. Common causes of severe injury tendon ruptures include jumping, hurdling, or beginning a sprint. In rare cases, the tendon is ruptured due to a cut (laceration).




Peroneal tendon ruptures can often be cured with surgery and a recovery period of 4 to 9 months.



Treatment first involves stopping any activity that makes your symptoms worse. You should not walk on the affected ankle. Ice, medicine, and elastic compression bandages may reduce pain and inflammation. Definitive treatment for peroneal tendon rupture is surgery. Non-surgical treatment is reserved for people with medical conditions that prevent them from undergoing surgery, or for those with chronic injury. Surgery to fix a peroneal tendon rupture involves sewing the tendon back onto the bone. If this is not possible, the surgeon may sew the ruptured tendon to the remaining, intact peroneal tendon. Surgery is followed by restraining the ankle. Physical therapy is often advised afterward.