Peroneal tendonitis is a common issue with runners and athletes, and the pain from the condition can be excruciating. So, as a result, many runners have to stay on the sideline for weeks. If you are a runner dealing with this condition, you might want to know how long it takes to heal.
The truth is, there are no exact timeframes as to how long healing will take. Healing time depends on the severity of the condition, treatment method, and your response to treatment – irrespective of whether you’re wearing one of the best running shoes for peroneal tendonitis or not.
Based on those factors, treatment can take different courses for different people. But then, there are a few generalities that exist for these factors.
Let’s take a deeper look into this now.
How Long Does Peroneal Tendonitis Take To Heal?
Doctors treat peroneal tendonitis in a variety of ways. The severity of the condition determines the ideal treatment plan. For most simple cases of peroneal tendonitis, doctors might recommend using ice, special shoes, or even simple rest. Alongside this, doctors may also recommend you take anti-inflammatory medication, or they might recommend GTN patches to help with the pain too.
For more severe issues, doctors might recommend physiotherapy. These sessions are, in most cases, attended weekly or monthly to help strengthen the bones, tendons, and muscles in your feet. During your therapy, the doctors have introduced a set of orthotics designed to support your feet and reduce the pain associated with your condition.
Doctors might give you cortisone injections for Peroneal Tendonitis in more severe conditions. Doctors refrain from using this method because it can cause permanent damage to the tendons. But then, it can help treat severe cases that do not improve with other treatment methods. Doctors can also use PRP injections in some cases. PRP injections are primarily suitable when there are tears in the tendons.
The final method doctors will consider in most severe conditions is surgery, but that is and should always be the last resort. Doctors will cut into the patient’s feet to sew up the torn tendon. In some cases, they might also re-order the heels to limit the pressure on the tendons.
How is long do these treatment methods take?
Conservative treatments can help relieve tendon pain and inflammation within three to four weeks. Recovery may take longer if the tendonitis is caused by another injury, such as a sprain.
The following are some treatment methods for Peroneal tendonitis and their treatment times:
You may require a soft cast or boot to immobilize your foot and relieve pressure on your tendons while they heal. Immobilization should work for mild cases in 3 to 6 weeks.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to alleviate pain and inflammation. Sometimes, your doctor may advise you to get steroid injections around the tendon and into the tendon sheath. This should take between 2 weeks and a month, depending on how you respond to treatment.
Physical therapists will walk you through exercises and stretches to help you regain foot and ankle strength and flexibility. Your therapist may also advise you to use ice, heat, or ultrasound therapy. Physical therapy will take months, depending on your response to treatment.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This method can be performed at home for minor cases. Apply an ice pack on your ankle every two hours for 20 minutes. Wrap your ankle in a compression bandage to reduce swelling and keep it elevated, preferably above your heart level. Avoid strenuous activities and rest your feet. If done well, you should feel relieved in 2 to 3 weeks.
If conservative treatments do not improve your peroneal tendonitis, you may need surgery. A synovectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the damaged outer layers of tissue from your peroneal tendons. Some runners with this condition may qualify for a minimally invasive synovectomy. This usually involves more minor cuts and a quicker recovery.
Patients usually recover completely, but this can take a long time. For minimally invasive surgeries, recovery might take up to 3 months. However, other types might take four months or more, especially in older patients.
Before returning to activity, you must be patient and allow the tendon to heal. You may be advised against doing any activity with the feet for six weeks. When you’re ready, your foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon will most likely place you on physical therapy, which will also take months.