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Calcaneal fracture

Also referred to as heel fracture

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What is a calcaneal fracture?

An acute calcaneal fracture is a fracture of the heel bone. This may have occurred due to an injury such as falling, jumping or landing on the heel and it will normally cause a lot of pain and swelling.

A calcaneal stress fracture is slightly different. The heels take a lot of stress when we are very active, carrying extra weight, or if we wear inappropriate footwear. Stress fractures (tiny cracks that form as a result of stress) can develop. These tiny cracks become a larger problem and can cause pain, swelling, dysfunction and damage.

A normal heel bone can develop a stress fractures from overuse and excessive or repetitive loading, however abnormal bones, in people with osteoporosis (low bone density) for example, can develop stress fractures more easily.

How can I help myself?

If you have an acute fracture, you should seek appropriate medical advice, you likely need and X-ray and to attend a fracture clinic. If you have a stress fracture, in the very early, mild stages, you may be able to improve the symptoms yourself and it may heal, however often these can become chronic problems and they should never be ignored.

The following links may be of interest:

POLICE Therapy

Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medication

You may also want to look at heel pain or plantar fasciitis and fat pad atrophy.

When to see a Podiatrist?

If you are suffering with heel pain a podiatrist will be able to assess and advise you on a course of action. They can look at your foot mechanics and will take a thorough history of your problem. They may also advise on imaging of the area such as an X-ray, Ultrasound Scan or MRI.

If you suspect a fracture and had an injury or accident which brought the problem on, more immediate and appropriate medical advice is probably needed, such as A and E or a fracture clinic.

Calcaneal fracture