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Fracture Calcaneus


The heel bone of the foot is known as the calcaneus. The heel bone offers a foundation for each step you take. The construction of the heel bone is similar to that of an egg, with an outer hard protective layer and softer center. When the outer shell of the calcaneus is fractured, it can pose a problem for the center of the bone. The condition often results from a serious injury.


Traumatic injuries are often the cause for a fractured heel bone. Cause for injury includes:

  • Falling from various heights
  • Car accidents
  • Stress fractures on the heel due to overuse
  • Injured in conjunction with other foot injuries, such as a broken or sprained ankle


Depending on the severity of the injury, varieties of symptoms are present with a heel fracture, including:

  • Bruised ankle and heel
  • Swelling of the heel
  • Unable to apply pressure or put weight on the heel
  • Pain within the heel area
  • Stress fractures can cause pain to gradually worsen over a period of time, rather than immediate pain caused by a traumatic injury


To diagnose a calcaneus fracture, it is advised to seek the expertise of a foot specialist or surgeon. During the visit, the physician will examine the heel and surrounding area, question you on how the injury took place and will request x-rays or MRI scans to determine the extent of the injury.


As the symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury, treatment is also prescribed depending on the type of fracture. For minor stress factors, healing treatments include:

  • RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
  • Cast or boot to keep the foot stable and prevent the heel from moving as it heals. Crutches are necessary, in most cases, to prevent weight from being placed on the injured heel


For severe fractures or injuries, surgery is required to reconstruct the bone and even fuse the bone back onto the foot. Surgery is done on a case-by-case basis to achieve the best outcome for the patient. Fractures in the foot increase the risk of problems later in life, such as:

  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Heel or foot pain
  • Arthritis
  • Limited motion of the heel or foot