Fracture of the calcaneus, or heel bone, is most commonly caused by high-impact trauma, such as a fall from a height or a car accident. It can also occur due to repetitive stress injuries or general wear and tear.
To diagnose a fracture of the calcaneus, your doctor will perform a physical exam and likely order X-rays. The X-rays will show the location, type, and severity of the fracture.
A fracture of the calcaneus can be difficult to distinguish from other conditions, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and bursitis. To differentiate these conditions, your doctor may order additional imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan.
Treatment for a fracture of the calcaneus depends on the type, severity, and location of the fracture. Non-surgical treatments, such as bracing, casting, or splinting, may be used to immobilize the fracture and allow it to heal. Surgical treatments, such as open reduction and internal fixation, may be necessary in some cases.
With proper treatment and rehabilitation, most patients with a fracture of the calcaneus can return to their normal activities. However, depending on the severity of the fracture, some patients may experience long-term complications, such as chronic pain and stiffness.