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Sports Medicine

Peroneal tendinitis

12/10/2007

Question:

I have just developed peroneal tendinitis which was diagnosed by a podiatrist. He told me to take off two days of running, do RICE, take anti inflammatories, and get an ankle brace (to wear when I`m running as well). My question is, is it ok to run with this? He didn`t seem to think it was that big of a deal. I really want to keep running because I am in the middle of training for a half marathon, but I don`t want to make things worse. Thanks!

Answer:

The time it takes to recover from an overuse-type injury such as tendinitis depends on the severity and duration of symptoms, correcting causative factors, and how readily symptoms respond to such symptomatic treatments as those you mentioned. Taking "two days off" from running may therefore not be sufficient. Certainly any time off from running is not desirable in the midst of your training for an upcoming half marathon, but symptoms will guide you, and will let you know whether it is "OK" to run with this condition while it is being treated.

Ideally, the cause for your peroneal tendinitis can be determined and directly addressed. The many possible causes include overtraining (excessive running frequency, duration, and/or intensity - in relation to what your body is able to tolerate), running on banked (with the symptomatic foot lower) and/or hilly (especially uphill) surfaces, running in shoes which may not be optimally designed for your body/running surface/training regimen, or a biomechanical cause due to such anatomical or structural predisposing factors as a "varus" hindfoot, peroneal tendon subluxation (slippage), a "split" (torn) peroneal tendon, or residual ankle laxity resulting from a prior sprain.

If your symptoms persist, discuss the above information with your physician. If you aren't running at the level you desire, of great importance is an ongoing and progressive - but symptom-free -cross-training regimen.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University