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The peroneal tendons run on the outside of the ankle just behind the bone called the fibula. Tendons connect muscle to bone and allow them to exert their force across the joints that separate bones. Ligaments, on the other hand, connect bone to bone. Tendinitis implies that there is inflammation in the tendon. Tendinosis means there is enlargement and thickening with swelling of the tendon. This usually occurs in the setting of overuse, meaning a patient or athlete does a repetitive activity that irritates the tendon over long periods of time. This article will focus on peroneal tendinosis.
Peroneal tendonitis is inflammation of the peroneal tendons which run behind the lateral malleolus or the bony bit on the outside of the ankle causing and swelling on the outer ankle.
Overuse injuries in sports account for 50% of all injuries. A majority of overuse injuries occur in runners, with 20% of injuries affecting the lower leg, 15% the ankle, and 15% the foot.
Peroneal tendonitis may also be known as a tendinitis; tendinosis; tenosynovitis; tenovaginitis and probably a few more names as well! As with “ Achilles Tendonitis ” the best term to use is Tendinopathy as this is an umbrella term to cover all slight variations and does not suggest an inflammatory cause (more on that later).