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Peroneal nerve injury/tendon tear

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  • Peroneal nerve injury/tendon tear

    First let me say how glad I am to have found this forum. I apologize for the length of this! My 11-year old is a hunter/jumper. After 5 months off from riding rehabbing 4 separate injuries sustained in basketball, she returned to riding and jumping without much difficulty although she did have some issues with her right ankle locking up. At the end of July she participated in a barn camp. On the last day she went over a jump and when she landed, she said her heel went down and she felt her leg give way followed by immediate pain and burning. We left for a cruise the next day and she slowly started feeling better. We assumed it was a muscle strain and she returned to riding when we got back. Unfortunately, every time she jumped she got the same pain and numbness. Long story short, after a month of this she asked to go to the doctor and was diagnosed with a peroneal nerve injury. She hobbled around and rode without stirrups for a while until she did not feel secure because she could not turn her ankle in enough without significant pain. She also began experiencing her ankle locking up and clicking constantly with pain. As a follow-up she had an MRI which confirmed the nerve injury (along with an EMG earlier). MRI also showed a tear in the peroneal longus tendon, which explains the ankle issues. The doctor wants to try P/T for 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately, she also turned her ankle this past week at school and the ankle is now "catching." She is in quite a bit of pain and is very tough. In the 5 years she has been riding, I have never heard her say she doesn't want to ride so this is breaking our hearts. Not that we have pushed it since she is hurt. It doesn't help that they day after she hurt herself we began leasing a horse, just bought a new saddle and finally got her a tack trunk. So she has all sorts of fun stuff but can't enjoy it!

    My question is: has anyone had an injury similar to hers with the peroneal nerve and tendon involved? If so, what is the likelihood this will get better without surgery? And will she ride again? I know the nerve can take up to a year to heal but I am concerned that there will always be a risk that the nerve will get reinjured (to say nothing of the tendon).

    Thanks for reading. Any advice or insight is appreciated.


  • #2
    I'm not sure that my situation is similar, since I don't get MRI results until Wednesday, but OS is leaning toward me having peroneal tendon "issues" now. My foot's been messed up for going 2 years.

    A buddy of mine sprained his ankle about a month before I did, had surgery to repair torn peroneal tendons, and a year -18 months later is fine. (Took around 4 months to rehab) I, on the other hand, have been screwing around with PT and walking casts for the same length of time, and am back to not walking again.

    If her doctor recommends surgery, I would do it. If he doesn't I would ask him why not. If you go the PT route, Kiddo needs to be serious about layup and not continuously re-injure it; i.e. no riding, no sports for 3-6 weeks.
    Visit my Spoonflower shop


    • Original Poster


      Thanks for the quick response. They haven't even immobilized her ankle yet but we go back to see the doctor tomorrow. I think they were surprised about the tear. Hopefully there will be more of a game plan after the appointment.

      Good luck with your MRI results. I had peroneal tendinitis years ago when running and it was not fun. Still acts up if I squat for too long.



      • #4
        I fractured my ankle and tore my peroneal tendon in a riding accident 7 months ago. The bone healed fine but I'm still having the peroneal nerve pains and soreness. My doctor didn't recommend surgery for me, said it would likely make things worse and said to give it a year to heal up. I find keeping it wrapped gives it support and it doesn't get sore as easy. I'm riding but I last only about 20-30 minutes and it starts to hurt. Good luck.
        Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.


        • #5
          I've been dealing with peroneal tendinosis (chorinc tendinitis) for about 2 years now. I went through months of PT and it got better, but it still has not gone away. I have to stretch very well before riding and I use Kinesio Tape (the tape you saw all over the Olympians). If I stretch and tape my leg, I will have zero pain. However, my physical therapists said that I should not use the tape because my leg was depending on it and the muscle would not get stronger... Well after months of PT and still having pain while riding I started taping again because I just couldn't handle it anymore.

          A GREAT way to stretch before a ride is getting on an elliptical workout machine for 15-30 minutes before riding. I have had days where I just got on it for 30 minutes at lunch and then was able to ride without tape.


          • #6
            I just had peroneal tendon surgery 5 weeks ago. Repair to the tendon and retinacilum ( sp?). I'd be happy to share my experiences. It is a long and arduous recovery so far. My doc has predicted no riding for me until the spring. Could maybe ride without stirrups beforehand but getting off might be difficult