Why Does the Side of My Foot Hurt?

Peroneal tendonitis is a relatively uncommon injury that nonetheless often causes considerable pain on the outside area of the foot, with further complications advancing along the outer area of the lower leg. Since this condition can be misdiagnosed by general medical practitioners as plantar fasciitis, seeing a foot care specialist to receive the correct diagnosis and care is highly advised.

There are actually two peroneal ligaments that run along the side of your foot: the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis tendons which parallel each other on the outside of the foot and eventually join with the corresponding muscles of the lower leg. 

These two tendons work together to roll your foot outwards and then help your calf muscles flex the plantar fascia, which is the large band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. The flexion of these tendons also adds to ankle stability during weight-bearing and flexibility exercises.

Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include:

  • Pronounced tenderness and pain along one or both tendons on the outside of the foot
  • Pain while doing regular exercise
  • Sore and stiff muscles when you roll your foot outwards or even during passive stretching

You may be feeling extreme pain from this injury, but peroneal tendonitis generally responds very well to physical therapy and home treatments.

Treatment options may include:

  • Resting the affected foot
  • Stretching the calf muscles
  • A regimen of strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Balancing exercises
  • Icing and contrast baths
  • Ultrasound can find soft tissue abnormalities
  • Whirlpool and paraffin baths
  • Custom fitted orthotic inserts

For peroneal tendonitis or any other problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, seek the assistance of your foot care professional. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuriespediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.