As podiatrists, we are trained to recognize all the many players on the foot and ankle stage, but some still get plenty more attention in the public eye. The toes always get front billing, and even nursery rhymes all about them. The heels get all the hard-working metaphors. And the tendons? It’s of course Achilles, the one named after the mythological Greek action star! There are others, however, and today we’re focusing on the dual act known as the peroneal tendons.
There are two peroneal tendons in each foot. While they both run together for some length around the outside ankle bone, they connect different parts of the leg muscles to different foot bones. The peroneus brevis, the shorter of the two, starts in the lower leg and runs to the fifth metatarsal (the bone that connects the little toe to the rest of the foot). The peroneus longus—and you can probably guess that “longus” means “long”—runs from an upper leg muscle, around and beneath the arch, to connect to the first metatarsal that connects the big toe.
What makes the peroneal tendons matter? They do a good job of reining in the ankle, allowing it to turn to the outside and providing stability to help protect against sprains. However, like their A-lister neighbor the Achilles, the peroneal tendons can also become inflamed through overuse and injury. Peroneal tendonitis can often be felt as a pain, tenderness, and warmth around the side and back of the ankle. Rest and professional treatment are key to an effective recovery.
No matter whether a tendon, a ligament, or a bone is in trouble, the show must go on! Call Family Foot Care & Surgery at (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden to get the help and treatment you need.