Broken heel bone (Calcaneal fracture)
Calcaneal fracture is a troubling condition that will render patients immobile for a period of time until the fracture heels. It can be caused by something that occurs all at once such as a fall from a height or over time where repetitive stress leads to the bone becoming bruised. Specialist medical review is needed with any acute fracture. Chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments will be important to reduce pain and restore function following surgery (if needed),immobilisation of the injury to allow healing and rehabilitation the legs once people can start to return to activity and training.
Causes of a broken heel
The most common cause of this injury is the result of falling or jumping from a height. This height doesn’t necessarily need to be extremely high. Large forces are needed to cause an acute fracture of our heel bone, unless the bones have been weakened by conditions such as osteoporosis already. In some cases large enough forces are involved in car and bike accidents and sports such as water skiing. Stress response and stress fracture in the heels from long-distance running is not common but can occur. If you have persistent heel pain you should see a chiropractor or physiotherapist to have your heel checked.
Symptoms of a broken heel
Generally speaking if you are involved in an accident or trauma that causes a broken heel, you will know about it. Large forces are needed. Symptoms of an acute calcaneal fracture will include pain, rapid swelling and bruising. Depending on the severity of the injury, people will also experience difficulty walking and bearing weight on the affected heel(s). Both heels can be affected in injuries such as falls. Where stress fracture is involved, symptoms are slower to develop and can be more vague. Seeking care from an experienced chiropractor or physiotherapist is important.
Treatment of a broken heel
If you suspect a broken bone it is recommended you seek medical attention immediately. Treatment options include immobilising the foot in a plaster cast or 6 – 8 weeks to reduce weight bearing. If surgery is recommended, the procedure can involve attaching a metal plate to the heel bones to return them to their normal position. Recovery will require rest of the foot from supporting weight with this period lasting up to 3 months. Following this the chiropractors and physiotherapists at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) will give you a host of exercises and loading protocols to reduce pain and recover your function. Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is an ankle and foot treatment centre of excellence located in Balmain and Dee Why Sydney.