There are several tendons in the foot that can be ruptured or torn, including the peroneal tendon, the posterior tibial tendon, and the Achilles tendon.

Peroneal tendon ruptures or tears can occur from a previous ankle sprain or from chronic looseness of the ankle after a sprain. The symptoms include pain, swelling and a feeling of instability behind the outside of the ankle.

An MRI may be recommended by Lancaster Orthopedic Group’s foot and ankle specialist to help determine how large or extensive the tear may be and to check for other ankle damage such as ligament tears, arthritis and cartilage damage.

Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, elevation, immobilization of the foot with a splint or cast until it heals, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. If the rupture does not respond to treatment, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon or tendons.

The posterior tibial tendon attaches the calf muscle to the bones inside the foot and supports the foot and arch while we walk. Flat feet or constant stress may cause the tendon to fray and tear. It may also occur in high-impact sports. If the posterior tibial tendon ruptures, surgery may stop further collapse of the foot arch.

The Achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body, extending from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. A rupture or tear is most likely to occur during physical activities requiring sudden stretching, such as when sprinting and jumping.

Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture may include pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to point the foot downward, to stand on the toes, or even to walk. Your physician may recommend surgery to re-attach the tendon.