• Treatment for Heel Bone Fractures

    A break or fracture in the heel bone is a type of sports injury that may be temporarily disabling. The heel bone, which is known as the calcaneus, is a relatively large foot bone that provides the foundation for the heel portion of the foot. An orthopaedic surgeon may diagnose the patient with a stable heel bone fracture, which means that the broken ends of the calcaneus are properly aligned. When the broken bone ends are not properly aligned, it is referred to as a displaced fracture. Although a heel bone fracture can be quite painful and disabling, there are treatments available to help patients recover fully.

    Identifying Heel Bone Fractures

    The symptoms of a heel bone fracture are localized to the foot area. Most often, patients will experience pain, swelling, and bruising, along with an inability to place weight on the affected foot. Heel deformity may develop. Patients may notice these symptoms after suffering a severe twisting injury or fall, or after being involved in a car crash.

    Exploring Nonsurgical Treatment

    Patients with a stable heel bone fracture may not require orthopaedic surgery. They may only need to immobilize the area, such as with a cast, until the bone is fully healed. For at least six to eight weeks, patients cannot place any weight on the affected foot.

    Undergoing Orthopaedic Surgery

    Orthopaedic surgery for a heel bone fracture is often necessary when the anatomy of the foot becomes abnormal or if the patient has suffered a displaced fracture. The orthopaedic surgeon can reposition the bone fragments so that they are properly aligned. Then, he or she places metal plates and screws or other devices to hold the bone fragments together while they heal. Patients who avoid undergoing surgery even when surgery is necessary to restore normal anatomy are likely to experience poor outcomes, such as persistent pain, limited range of motion, and an altered gait.

    MK Orthopaedics’ has two podiatric surgeons to provide a continuum of care , from diagnostics to treatments to follow-up care. Dr. Aaron Kim and Dr. Joe George are available for care by calling (815) 741-6900 to book an appointment. In addition to fractures, our orthopaedic specialists provide nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for those with an ACL tear, meniscus tear, shoulder pain, and many other musculoskeletal issues.

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