Retrocalcaneal bursitis most commonly occurs as s result of repetitive activity that encourages the calf muscles to tighten and shorten from overuse, like repetitively wearing high heels, running and
even wearing tight shoes that pinch at the back of the heel. Symptoms normally include a constant dull ache or burning pain at the back of the heel that is aggravated by any touch or pressure from
tight shoes or movement of the ankle joint. There will normally be noticeable swelling around the back of the heel. In cases of bursitis caused by infection the skin around the affected joint will
appear red and will feel incredibly warm to the touch. Additional symptoms are a high temperature and feverish chills. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is very similar to Achilles bursitis as the bursae are
very close in proximity and symptoms are almost identical however retrocalcaneal bursitis is a lot more common.
Bursitis occurs when the bursae become irritated or infected, often causing pain on movement. When infection is involved, medical intervention is necessary to fight the underlying infection and
prevent it from spreading, when infection is not involved, prompt medical attention can prevent the condition from becoming worse over time.
Medical experts strongly recommend that you consult a doctor if you have any of the symptoms below. Disabling joint pain that prevents you from doing your daily activities. Pain that lasts for more
than two weeks. Excessive swelling, redness, bruising or a rash around the painful joint. Sharp or shooting pain, especially when you exercise or do something more strenuous. A fever. Any of the
above could be a sign of infection, a condition such as arthritis or a more serious injury such as a tendon tear that may require medical attention.
When a patient has pain in a joint, a careful physical examination is needed to determine what type of movement is affected and if there is any swelling present. Bursitis will not show up on x-rays,
although sometimes there are also calcium deposits in the joint that can be seen. Inserting a thin needle into the affected bursa and removing (aspirating) some of the synovial fluid for examination
can confirm the diagnosis. In most cases, the fluid will not be clear. It can be tested for the presence of microorganisms, which would indicate an infection, and crystals, which could indicate gout.
In instances where the diagnosis is difficult, a local anesthetic (a drug that numbs the area) is injected into the painful spot. If the discomfort stops temporarily, then bursitis is probably the
Non Surgical Treatment
Here are some of the most effective treatments for infracalcaneal bursitis Temporarily avoiding weight-bearing activities that put stress or strain on the heel bone can very helpful in treating
infracalcaneal bursitis. PRICE (protection, rest, hot/cold contrast compresses, compression, and elevation) is another good acute management technique for this foot problem. Changing footwear is an
effective long-term prevention and treatment tool for infracalcaneal bursitis. Shoes that possess a flat support base from heel to toe, a sufficiently wide toe box to accommodate natural toe splay,
and a flexible sole that can be easily bent or twisted are best for preventing and managing infracalcaneal bursitis. An integrated approach to this problem usually involves the use of padded socks or
heel cups to help reduce pressure, friction, and inflammation under the heel. Natural anti-inflammatory agents can also be helpful in quelling inflammation, reducing pain, and improving treatment
times for infracalcaneal bursitis. In rare cases, more aggressive treatment methods may be required, such as cortisone injections or surgery to drain the bursal sac. Always consult your physician
before beginning any healthcare regimen designed to treat infracalcaneal bursitis.
Only if non-surgical attempts at treatment fail, will it make sense to consider surgery. Surgery for retrocalcanel bursitis can include many different procedures. Some of these include removal of the
bursa, removing any excess bone at the back of the heel (calcaneal exostectomy), and occasionally detachment and re-attachment of the Achilles tendon. If the foot structure and shape of the heel bone
is a primary cause of the bursitis, surgery to re-align the heel bone (calcaneal osteotomy) may be considered. Regardless of which exact surgery is planned, the goal is always to decrease pain and
correct the deformity. The idea is to get you back to the activities that you really enjoy. Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine the exact surgical procedure that is most likely to correct the
problem in your case. But if you have to have surgery, you can work together to develop a plan that will help assure success.