Saturday, June 12, 2010

Peroneal Tendon Subluxation??

Say what? Peroneal tendon (the tendon running behind the ankle and up the side of the fibula) subluxation (a partial dislocation).  That's right!  My peroneal tendon somehow decided it didn't like living in its nice little home and ventured off to cause all kinds of ruckus in my ankle/achilles area.  How ridiculous is that?  What did I ever do to you, PT?  I have suffered 3 months with this crazy injury, hoping it would heal up with some rest from running and light cross training.  Stupid me.  I saw a physical therapist a couple times, who helped me alleviate much of the pain through stretching.  But, I knew there was something else wrong going on in there.  I booked an appointment with a local podiatrist, Dr. Carrie Lakin.  Her staff was very nice and got me in the same week I called because there was a cancellation.   

I went in and gave all my history to Dr. Lakin's nurse.  I explained where the pain was and how it began the day I ran in a new pair of shoes on a treadmill.  I explained how it didn't hurt during running, but would kill me the next day.  How if I rested, it seemed to get better, but was always bothering me.  Dr. Lakin came in and listened to my story, watched me walk down the hall a few times, moved my foot around a little, then told me what she thought.  She told me that when I walk, I come inward on my big toes.  She said that I probably had peroneal tendon subluxation and that sometimes that tendon slips out of place.  She also said that because of my mechanics, I was a little more prone for this to happen.  I guess the new stiff shoes on the treadmill just pushed me over the edge.  Then, she told me what she was going to do to fix it!

She said a colleague from another state told her about a manuever a few years ago, and then she saw it in a podiatry journal the next year.  She told me she was going to push on my fibula, pull down on my foot, then dorsiflex my foot, and that if it worked we should hear a sound.  It all happened so fast, I didn't know what to think!  Sure enough, she did the 3-step move, and sure enough, there was the clunk sound!  When we heard the sound, we looked at each other with wide eyes, lol, like we were shocked it worked.  She told me I could run and see how it felt, and that if it happened again I could come back and she would fix me.  She said she could make me an insert if I needed it.  I saw the doctor for less than 10 minutes, I paid $120, and went home.

My ankle definitely felt weird the rest of the day.  But, I could tell that the pressure and tightness in my ankle and along the tendon was gone.  There is still a little soreness and tightness in my achilles, but I believe I am fixed!  I ran with my best friend, Becca, yesterday.  She is a Zumba instructor and just had a baby about 3 months ago.  I talked her into starting a Couch to 5k program, although she is no couch potato!  I started her off on week 3.  She is doing so great!  I decided that I should run with her so that I ease myself back into running and don't do too much too fast.  I was a little sore today, so I took the day off.  We are supposed to start on Week 4 tomorrow.  I just need to be sure and stretch really well, and I think I will heal up nicely.  I have heard of this being a recurring problem for some people.  I hope that is not the case for me.  Hopefully, my tendon will stay in its home and behave itself!

Picture courtesy of 


  1. that is crazy!! i think the foot is such an odd little thing! I am excited that you get to actually run again!!!

  2. That's pretty cool - and my kind of fix! Glad things are going better and no-pain! Hopefully the adjustment will hold and you won't have to fork over $120 too often :) Hooray for not being told to take time off!

  3. tammy, i am really motivated by your blog. i experienced peroneal tendon subluxation 6 years ago. like you, i had no idea what it was but now consider myself well informed. i went to one physical therapist, and three orthopedic surgerons (one a foot specialist) after listening to my options (mainly cast with 50/50 chance or surgery) i decided to be conservative and was placed in a cast for two months, then went through two months of physical therapy. it DID heal, i played college baseball, basketball, i was 99% i felt on that ankle, up until recently. the same move i tore it with initially has again torn the retinaculum (i believe) and i have NEVER heard of this 3 step technique you speak of! my neighbor is an orthopedic surgeon, could you give me any more info and perhaps i could discuss it with him or my foot specialist? i would be eternally grateful!!! you can email me or find me on facebook diron buglio, thank you so much for sharing your story!

  4. Hi Tammy,
    I have a peroneal tendon that is subluxating and am in a cast for 4 weeks. I was hoping that you could share with me any additional info on the 3 step process of fixing this problem. I am hoping to avoid surgery. My email address is
    Thank you for sharing and glad to hear that you healed from your injury

  5. Wow, I wish I had seen this sooner! I am currently recovering from my second ankle surgery (in three years) due to subluxing peroneal tendons! I haven't ever heard about this 3 step system. I am so happy it worked for you! Surgery is so expensive and such a long recovery (And doesn't work sometimes, since I'm on my second go-around right now). My most recent doctor said that I am prone to this also because all of my joints are really loose and flexible. Your doctor should be publishing a book about her 3 step system, she could help a lot of people!

  6. its not three step fixing system. its just a three step test for determining if your tendon subluxates or not. you will always hear clicking sound with this process if your tendon subluxates.

  7. Hi Tammy,

    I am also having this problem, and I would SO MUCH APPRECIATE if you could send me the info on this "3 step maneuver," or the journal from which your doc found it? I am going to the doctor next week, but I am also an avid runner and am in a complete panic over this. I would be so grateful for any information AT ALL. My email is

    I hope your healing is going well!

  8. Hi Tammy,

    I am also having this problem in my ankle. Im a basketball player and I really want to be able to play again at 100%. Everywhere I read people tell me that I HAVE to have surgery to fix this. PLEASE email me at and inform me more about this 3 step method. Im also kind of short on money so dodging the surgery route would help bunches. PLEASE HELP.
    And I hope your peroneal tendon is doing fine!!