The heel bone is called the calcaneus. This bone helps support the foot and the whole body. While it is not a common injury, when this bone is fractured it can cause an injury that has long and lingering effects.
Usually the fracture is caused by a very forceful impact. The bone is strong and for it to fracture takes a large force. The force needed is often found in a fall from a significant height, a car accident, or perhaps a sports injury.
Symptoms of a calcaneus fracture included swelling in the foot, significant bruising on the heel, being unable to put weight on the heel, and significant heel pain. The heel can be very sensitive to even the lightest of touches.
Often when the heel is broken, it is broken in multiple places leaving many small bone fragments. This makes the treatment of a fractured calcaneus very difficult.
If the bone is fractured but now displaced, it can be treated by casting. The healing process can be lengthy and often involves long non-weight bearing periods often as long as three months.
If the bone has fractures that do not remain in the correct location then surgery is often warranted. For some fractures a plate is screwed in to help the bones to remain in place in more serious cases the bone is fused which can lead to significant loss of range of motion.
Unfortunately people most often do not make a full recovery from a heel fracture. They are often left with constant discomfort in the heel. Of course, in the process of walking the calcaneus bone must bear a significant amount of use and pressure. Often times people with these fractures end up with arthritis in the heel which can also cause more constant pain and discomfort.
People who sustain heel fractures may also have sustained injury to their back because the significant force required to fracture the calcaneus. There is a small percentage of people that sustain the back injury as well but if you sustain a heel fracture you should be checked out to make sure there are not back injuries sustained as well.
If you sustained a heel fracture (calcaneus fracture) in a Virginia car accident and would like to discuss the matter further, please contact our office.