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How to Heal From Peroneal Tendon Surgery

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How to Heal From Peroneal Tendon Surgery
Heal from Peroneal Tendon Surgery Photo Credit: Sergey Ilin/iStock/Getty Images

The peroneal tendons originate from the peroneal muscles of the lower leg and run just behind the bone of the outer ankle, or lateral malleolus. According to the Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy, these tendons help keep the ankle from turning too far inward, but are prone to injury from external forces causing ankle sprains and rolls. If the peroneal tendons tear or pop out of alignment so that they shift to the front of the ankle, surgery is usually required to repair them. In cases of severe tearing, new tendon tissue may have to be taken from the leg or a cadaver to replace the damaged tendon.

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Step 1

Wear your short-leg cast as directed by your surgeon. The Active Motion Physical Therapy website explains that casts are often worn for up to four weeks post-surgery.

Step 2

Follow your surgeon's weight-bearing instructions. Most don't want you to place any weight on the foot at all for the first day, while others, like foot and ankle specialist Dr. George Lian, will ask you to stay non-weight bearing for up to a week after surgery. Use your crutches to keep your weight off your affected foot.

Step 3

Control swelling by elevating your leg above your heart when you sit or lie down. Swelling can delay recovery, so keeping it in check helps you heal quicker. Once the cast is off, you can further assist with swelling by icing your foot for 20 minutes at a time with a bag of ice wrapped in a thin dishtowel. With your doctor's approval, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can be taken over-the-counter to help alleviate inflammation.

Step 4

Wear your walking boot as directed by your surgeon once your cast is removed. Follow your weight bearing restrictions, and stay off the foot for long periods of time. Do not try to exercise in your walking boot, and do not try to walk without the boot during the time prescribed.

Step 5

Begin therapeutic and range-of-motion exercises once the walking boot is discontinued. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, physical therapy plays a crucial role in rehab following peroneal tendon surgery. Perform the ankle, foot, and leg range-of-motion and strengthening exercises prescribed by your physical therapist, working in a pain-free zone. Gradually build up intensity as your specific healing process allows.

Step 6

Resist the urge to return to vigorous leg exercise, such as running or soccer, too soon. After peroneal surgery, Dr. Lian suggests waiting four to six months before resuming sports.

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