This is a break of the heel bone. The calcaneus forms the back of the foot and supports you when you walk. A calcaneus fracture is a serious injury that needs medical care.
Causes & Triggers
How does this bone get broken? Calcaneus fractures are usually caused by a high-energy impact or a twisting injury. You can break your calcaneus in a road accident. It also can happen if you fall from high up.
- High-impact, high-force events, such as:
- Car or other accident
- Motor vehicle collision
- •Twisting of the foot
Signs & Symptoms
What are the symptoms? A calcaneus fracture is very painful. You can’t walk or put weight on your foot. You’ll also have a lot of swelling, bruising and tenderness.
- Changes in gait
- Deformity of heel
- Instability or wobbliness
- Uncomfortable or unable to walk or bear weight
Tips & Treatment
A calcaneus fracture must be cared for by a doctor. If it’s not treated properly, you can have serious complications. Your foot will be immobilized, and you may need surgery. You will also need rehabilitation. Your doctor will create a plan that’s right for you.
- There is more than one type of calcaneus fracture:
- Closed: bone does not penetrate the skin
- Comminuted: bone is shattered into at least three pieces
- Displaced: bone ends are misaligned
- Open (or compound): bone penetrates the skin
- Stable: bone ends are aligned yet broken
- Because of the primary cause—crash, collision or fall—most calcaneus fractures are severe, requiring 3-4 months recovery for minor injuries; 12-24 months for severe injuries.
- Non-surgical treatment may include a non weight-bearing cast worn for 6-8 weeks or more.
- Surgical repair may be necessary if bones are displaced, but only after swelling subsides.
- If the bone fragments during the injury, metal plates and screws may be needed to repair it.
- Even with proper diagnosis and treatment, there may be some degree of permanent injury or function loss.