Fracture of the Heel Bone (Calcaneus)

Overview

This condition is a break in the heel bone, called the calcaneus, which forms the back of the foot. This bone supports the foot and is important for normal walking.

Causes

Fractures of the heel bone most commonly occur from severe trauma to the foot, often from a motor vehicle accident or a fall. Small fractures can also occur in athletes who are required to place stress on the foot for long periods of time, such as long-distance runners. Some calcaneus fractures can be associated with other injuries to the bones of the thigh, leg, or even the spine.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a heel bone fracture can include pain and swelling in the back of the foot or on the bottom of the heel, inability to walk, and bruising. A severe fracture may break through the skin.

Treatment

Treatment options include use of a cast, splint or brace, anti-inflammatory medication, cold compress, and therapy after the removal of a splint. In cases where the bones of the foot and ankle have moved out of alignment, surgery may be required.

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