The Peroneus Brevis tendon inserts into the 5th metatarsal bone on the outside of the foot. A strain or rupture of the tendon can occur at the point of insertion. This foot injury normally occurs after a sudden force or movement of the ankle, causing pain on the outside of the foot. Read more for symptoms and treatment of this injury.
Peroneus Brevis tendon rupture symptoms
Symptoms include pain over the prominent bony part on the outside of the foot. The pain will most likely have come on suddenly after a twisted ankle or sudden forceful movement of the ankle.
There may be bruising and swelling and the foot will be painful to walk on. Pain will be worse when stressing the tendon by attempting to evert the foot or turn the sole outwards, particularly against resistance.
Peroneus Brevis tendon rupture explained
The peroneus brevis muscle plantar flexes and everts the foot, or pulls the toes up and the foot outwards. Its tendon attaches to the fifth metatarsal on the outside of the foot.
The end of the fifth metatarsal can be felt as the bony prominence on the outside of the foot. The peroneus brevis muscle can get very tight in runners especially those who run a lot on roads.
Peroneal tendon ruptures usually happen following a traumatic event, such as an ankle sprain. Acute injuries to this tendon can be either tears or avulsions. An avulsion occurs when a muscle force is so strong that it pulls off a section of bone at the attachment point. A tear of the tendon can be partial or complete. Most tears are actually longitudinal, along the length of the tendon.
Treatment of peroneus brevis tendon rupture
Apply ice or cold therapy as soon as possible after injury. Ice can be applied for 10 minutes every hour and reduce the frequency as required although a minimum of 3 times a day is often recommended. This will reduce pain and inflammation and help limit swelling which may delay the healing process. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin but in a wet tea towel or use a commercially available hot and cold pack.
Rest is important for at least 48 hours while the acute stage of the injury passes. Continuing to limp about on the foot will only delay recovery. After the acute stage has passed very gentle stretching can be done if pain allows.
See a sports injury professional who can make an accurate diagnosis and rule out an avulsion fracture. An avulsion fracture is where the tendon has come away from the bone and possibly pulled a piece of the bone with it.
A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen which may help reduce pain and inflammation in the early stages. Do not take ibuprofen if you have asthma and always check with a doctor before taking any medication.
Electrotherapy such as ultrasound or laser treatment may also reduce pain, inflammation and stimulate the healing process. For a severe tendon strain or an avulsion strain, a plaster cast may be used if necessary while the injury properly heals.
Once the injury has healed, the foot and ankle should be rehabilitated with stretching and strengthening exercises. Exercises similar to those of an ankle sprain are appropriate. Initially, isometric or static exercises can be done with a therapist or partner providing resistance. Everting the foot against a resistance band will specifically strengthen the peroneal muscles.