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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.
A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The two peroneal tendons in the foot run side by side behind the outer ankle bone. One peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the midfoot, while the other tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the inside of the arch. The main function of the peroneal tendons is to stabilize the foot and ankle and protect them from sprains.
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.
Acute injuries of the peroneal tendons include tendinitis , tear/rupture, laceration, and dislocation/subluxation. Acute injuries typically have 1 of 2 mechanisms as the cause: (1) inversion ankle injury, which is often seen with associated anterior talofibular ligament and/or calcaneofibular ligament disruption , and (2) a powerful contraction of the peroneal muscles with a forcefully dorsiflexed foot.