The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

My Peroneal Tendon is Dislocated

Posted by on Thursday, May 10th, 2012


Dislocated seems like it should be a word for that feeling you get when you’re trying to find your way somewhere, think you really know where you’re going, then look up and realize you don’t recognize anything around you. But no, it just means something is out of place, typically a body part. We’ve talked before about dislocated ankles, but today we are going to find out about something a little more mysterious: a dislocated peroneal tendon.

Okay, what is a– Yes, I get it, what is a peroneal tendon. Isn’t that always the question?

As you no doubt recall, tendons connect muscles to bones. The two peroneal tendons run down behind the outer ankle bone (the bony part that you can see on your ankle). One attaches to the outer part of your midfoot; the other turns down under the foot and attaches to the arch. The peroneal tendons help provide stability for your feet and ankles.

How could I ever dislocate them? They sound pretty secure. A dislocation or (big medical word alert!!) subluxation typically occurs along with another injury, such as a sprain; peroneal tendonitis, on the other hand, is a simpler injury that tends to come from overuse (yes, we mean you, endurance sport athletes and your endless runs). It also can be a chronic condition if the retinaculum, the tissue that helps hold the peroneal tendons in place (everything is holding something else in place. It’s all connected!), is damaged. Additionally, it can happen if a person has a bone or muscle malformity.

Well, how do I know I have a peroneal dislocation and not just some average joe kind of ankle sprain? The thing I love about dislocations is that they kind of let you know when they’re around–you can usually feel that something is out of place. If you feel:

a) some ankle instability;
b) pain behind that bony outer ankle bone;
c) swelling and bruising around that bony outer ankle bone;
d) most importantly, a feeling of something snapping around the bone, as if something is snapping in and out of place, then you probably have a dislocated peroneal tendon.

Peroneal injuries can be tricky to diagnose, though. If you have any of these symptoms, or if you have what you thought was an ankle sprain and it’s taking longer than normal to heal, you should see a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) to get an accurate diagnosis. Finding the answer quickly is especially important with dislocated peroneal tendons, because if they’re not treated, they run a high risk of tearing or rupturing as they snap around.

What’s the treatment?! A podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) will likely start by advising rest and ice on the area. In some cases, the doctor may put a cast on the ankle to help stabilize it while you heal; in severe cases, surgery may be required to repair damaged tissues that are not effectively supporting the tendons (read Katie’s surgery story here and Danny’s story here). Afterwards, the doctor can prescribe a course of stretching and massage to help loosen up tight tendons that might be prone to re-injury.

And you don’t want to re-injure that! I’m glad we have all this peroneal stuff straightened out, aren’t you? If you suspect you have a dislocated peroneal tendon, or any other foot or ankle issue, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.