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TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute


Tendonitis of the foot or ankle is common due to the amount of stress they experience every day. TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine physicians offer a comprehensive range of treatments for tendonitis; in most cases, it can be treated without surgery.

Foot and Ankle Tendonitis

Tendonitis happens when a tendon, the flexible cord of tissue that attaches muscle to a bone, becomes inflamed. Foot or ankle tendonitis can cause swelling and pain and, depending on the affected tendon, may cause discomfort when walking or standing.

There are several types of tendonitis of the foot or ankle:

  • Peroneal tendonitis causes pain and inflammation on the outer edge of the heel.
  • Achilles tendonitis causes pain in the heel and back of the leg.
  • Extensor tendonitis is a rare type of ankle tendonitis that causes pain on the top of the foot.
  • Anterior tibial tendonitis causes pain on the front of the foot that is usually most noticeable when walking downstairs.
  • Posterior tibial tendonitis causes pain and inflammation under the inside ankle bone.

Foot and ankle tendonitis causes

Foot or ankle tendonitis often develops as a result of:

  • Infection
  • Injury to the foot or ankle
  • Overuse of the foot or ankle
  • Repetitive motion of the ankle
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Foot and ankle tendonitis symptoms

Foot and ankle tendonitis symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty flexing or pointing the foot
  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Weakness in the foot or ankle

Foot and ankle tendonitis treatment

The earlier tendonitis is diagnosed and treated, the sooner recovery can begin. Treatment for tendonitis depends on the severity of the inflammation or irritation. Some cases may be treated with self-care, while others will require medical attention. Treatments include:

  • Medicine to reduce pain and swelling such as over-the-counter ibuprofen or prescription anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Orthotic devices worn inside of shoes to elevate the heel and reduce stress on the tendon
  • Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the tendon and surrounding areas
  • Resting the injured tendon
  • Resting the tendon
  • Splinting or bracing

In severe cases, surgery can repair or replace the tendon.

Foot and ankle tendonitis risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of tendonitis include:

  • Age 40 and older
  • Being overweight
  • Having flat feet
  • Previous injuries to the foot or ankle tendons
  • Repetitive movement or overuse
  • Wearing shoes that do not properly support the feet

Foot and ankle tendonitis prevention

You can help reduce your risk of tendonitis by following a few guidelines, including:

  • Avoiding or modifying activities that contribute to tendonitis
  • Stretching and strengthening your feet and ankles, especially before activity
  • Wearing supportive footwear

Make an appointment

To learn more about foot and ankle tendonitis or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300 or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 354 3700.

TriHealth Orthopedic and Spine Institute
TOSI: 513 246 2300
Beacon: 513 354 3700
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