Peroneal tendons are also known as stirrup tendons because they run parallel along the outer ankle bone, attaching to the inside and outside of the foot near the arch. Their function is to stabilize the ankle and foot.
Injury to the peroneal tendons can occur suddenly during sports such as football, basketball, and soccer, or they can develop over time. The tendons can tear, become inflamed (tendonitis), or suffer from subluxation (moving from normal position). Signs to look for are swelling, pain, instability of the ankle, and feeling as if the tendon has snapped. The area may also be warm when touched. The pain may be constant or intermittent, and it can be greater at the back of the ankle bone where the tendons run.
Immediate and proper treatment is necessary to avoid tearing or further damage. The injured area must be immobilized, and crutches may be used to keep weight off of the affected ankle. Anti-inflammatory medications and ice can decrease swelling (consult your doctor before taking any medication). In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendons. Physical therapy can help restore motion and strength after the injury is healed.