Peroneal Tendon Tears: Retrospective Review

Peroneal tendon tears are a frequent, but often overlooked cause of chronic lateral ankle pain. A 2003 study in the The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery reviewed information on patients with Peroneal tendon tears looking at causes and treatment outcomes. It aimed to characterize the typical patient profile, injury nature, treatment course, and complications associated with surgical repair.

Forty patients experiencing chronic peroneal tendon pain, treated at the Foot and Ankle Institute of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, underwent peroneal tendon repair. A retrospective review spanning three years utilized medical records, surgical reports, and radiographs. The average patient age was 42 years (range: 13 to 64 years), with 58% attributing their condition to an ankle sprain or traumatic injury.

Surgery revealed peroneus brevis tears (88% of patients), peroneus longus tears (13%), combined tears (37%), low-lying peroneus muscle belly (33%), lateral ankle ligamentous disruptions (33%), and peroneal subluxation (20%). After an average follow-up of 13 months (range: 9 to 40 months), 98% of patients returned to full activities without pain. Minor complications (transient symptoms) occurred in 20%, while clinically significant (major) complications (persistent symptoms or revisionary surgery) were noted in 10% of patients.

The study suggests a common coexistence of lateral ankle ligamentous incompetence, combined peroneal brevis and longus tears, and low-lying peroneus muscle belly in patients with peroneal tendon injuries. Appropriately addressing peroneal tendon tears and associated pathologies through surgical intervention resulted in successful outcomes with few clinically significant complications.

Michael F Dombek, Bradley M Lamm, Karl Saltrick, Robert W Mendicino, Alan R Catanzariti,
Peroneal tendon tears: a retrospective review, The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Volume 42, Issue 5, 2003.

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