If your ankle suddenly looks bruised and swollen, you might think you broke it. Although bone fractures could cause your ankle to look bruised and swollen, the peroneal tendons in your ankles may be inflamed instead. Learn more about the inflammation in your peroneal tendons and how to treat it below.
What Are Peroneal Tendons?
Peroneal tendons connect the bones in your feet and ankles to the muscles in your calves. Each foot contains two peroneal tendons. The first tendon travels along the outer edge of your foot, while the second tendon travels along the arch of your foot. Although both tendons are tough and able to withstand normal every activities, people who tear or overuse the tendons can experience problems with them.
Peroneal tendons can develop a problem called tendonitis, or inflamed and swollen tendons. The inflammation can be mild enough to go away with rest and ice, or it can be severe enough to affect the mobility in your ankles. If the blood vessels around your tendons leak, it can make your skin appear bruised or discolored.
If you don't treat your condition, your tendons can eventually rupture or move out of place. To avoid any complications with your peroneal tendons, see a podiatrist immediately.
How Do You Treat Your Injured Tendons?
Before a podiatrist diagnoses you with tendonitis, they'll need to take X-rays of your foot and ankle. Because bone fractures, ligament tears, and arthritis can cause problems with your ankles, it's important to check for these issues first. If your X-rays don't reveal the problems above, a foot doctor may go ahead and diagnose you with tendonitis.
The treatment for tendonitis of the peroneal tendons may include placing ice on your ankle several times a day. Ice can help bring down the swelling and ease the bruising around your tendons. Some podiatrists "brace" their patients' ankle with splints or casts. Your tendons may heal better if they remain stable and supported.
A podiatrist may order you to take pain medication during your treatment. The medication can help alleviate any pain you may feel in your ankle. If you can't tolerate pain medication, you may ask a podiatrist to prescribe you medicated cream instead. The cream may help numb the nerves in your ankle and tendons.
If you have questions about the problems in your ankle or about tendonitis in general, contact a podiatrist near you today.