What could be my problem?
A heel fracture, or a calcaneus fracture, is a break of the calcaneus or heel bone typically occurring as a result of a high-impact injury from a fall, car accident or sports injury. Pain, bruising, or swelling of the heel and trouble walking are major symptoms.
What causes a heel fracture?
- Fall from a height
- Twisting injury to the ankle
- Motor vehicle collision
If I think I have a heel fracture, when should I see a foot doctor?:
If you suspect you have a heel fracture, stop your activity and do not apply pressure to the injured heel. Apply an ice pack and call a foot specialist for a diagnosis. If the heel fracture is caught early, long-term complications, such as pain, swelling, loss of motion and arthritis may be avoided. Heel fracture symptoms include:
- Pain in foot or heel
- Bruising in foot or heel
- Swelling in foot or heel
- Heel deformity
- Inability to put weight on the heel or walk normally
What are my treatment options for a heel fracture?
Non-Surgical Treatment Options:
May be recommended if the pieces of the broken heel bone have not been displaced by the force of the injury.
- Cast, splint or brace to hold the bones in proper position while they heal
- Crutches, non-weight bearing on the injured foot.
- Physical therapy to improve range of motion in foot and ankle and strengthen supporting muscles.
Surgical Treatment Options:
If the bones have shifted out of place (displaced) surgery may be required.
- Percutaneous Screw Fixation
If the bone pieces are large, they can sometimes be moved back into place by a foot surgeon without making a large incision. Special screws are inserted through small incisions to hold the fracture together.
- Open Reduction and Internal Fixation
An open incision is made to reposition (reduce) the bones into their normal alignment. They are held together with wires or metal plates and screws.
- Personalized Medicine Pain Management
Medications are often prescribed for short-term pain relief after surgery to help you recover faster. Many types of medications are available to help manage pain including opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and local anesthetics.