Broken Heel Bone Fracture [Causes, Symptoms & Best Home Treatment]
A broken heel bone fracture is a severe injury! Make sure you are getting the 100% SAFEST home treatment and FASTEST recovery time!
Broken Heel Bone Fracture Overview:
- A broken heel is a fairly uncommon high energy injury, often caused by falling or jumping from a height. It can also occur from road accidents.
- It is also possible for the calcaneus (heel bone) to suffer a stress fracture in athletes such as long-distance runners which may come on more gradually.
- A broken heel bone may also be known as a fractured calcaneus.
- Trauma and severe injury.
- Motor vehicle accident.
- Falls from a ladder.
- Fall from a height.
- These can be very severe injuries.
Cracked Heel Bone:
- This can also be known as a calcaneus stress fracture.
- A cracked heel bone can occur with repetitive stress.
- Especially runners or people standing on concrete all day long.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Sudden heel pain.
- Difficulty weight bearing, especially on the heel bone.
- Black and bruised skin.
- Compartment syndrome.
- Associated fractures and injuries to other parts of the body.
Broken Heel Bone Treatment:
- Usually the foot and ankle are place in a cast for 6-8 weeks to immobilize the bone and prevent weight bearing.
- Surgery is sometimes necessary, for example if the fractured part is out of position or if the fracture has broken the skin.
Broken Heel Bone Surgery:
- Usually, the surgical procedure involves attaching a metal plate to the heel to return the heel to its normal position.
- At the same time, it is important to ensure that the cartilage is replaced as close as possible to its original position.
- Very occasionally, a fracture will not require a plate.
- Your podiatrist will explain your best option to you.
- After treatment, the patient will be required to rest their foot from supporting weight – this period of recovery can last up to 3 months or much longer.
Pros of Heel Bone Surgery:
- Surgery carries risks such as infection or non-union.
- Significant cost.
- Long recovery time of the incision.
- High risk of incision dehiscence.
- Added risk for infection.
Cons of Heel Bone Surgery:
- Alignment might not be as good without surgery.
- Both surgery and non-surgery result in overall high arthritis rates.
- Poor healing calcaneus fracture.
Poor healing calcaneus fracture surgery:
- The calcaneus or heal bone is notorious for wound dehiscence.
- This can happen up to 20% in some studies.
- The trend is minimally invasive surgery or no surgery at all recently.
Broken heel recovery time:
This is meant to serve as a general recovery timeline for broken heel surgery.
Day of surgery:
- You will be placed in a splint for 1 week, this is a non-weight bearing splint.
1 week appointment:
- You will be placed in a cast for 2 weeks.
3rd week appointment:
- You will be placed in a cast for 2 weeks.
5th week appointment:
- You will transition into a walking boot with a lift for the next 4-6 weeks.
- Your stitches will be removed at this point.
9-10th week appointment:
- We will look at how you are doing in the boot.
- We will start physical therapy.
Rehabilitation, Therapy & Home Treatment:
- We cannot emphasize this enough, go see your podiatrist for initial treatment.
- This very serious injury may require surgery or casting for the first 2-3 months.
- This guide is meant to show options for long term recovery after the initial acute treatment for a broken heel bone fracture.
- The broken heel recovery time can be long, these are some good products that may help aid your recovery!
- Bottom of the foot pain needs to be controlled in 2 phases: Inflammation control and correcting the biomechanics.
Best Heel Pain Products:
- There are usually two phases to treating plantar fasciitis pain.
- The two phases of treatment include controlling the acute inflammation, and correcting the biomechanics which led to the problem in the first place.
- If the tendons and ligaments are inflamed, they are almost frozen in place and cannot function properly.
- Once the inflammation is decreased, we need to correct the bio-mechanical causes to ensure that they can never become over worked and inflamed again!
- This doesn’t matter whether it’s plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, sore bottom of foot, or even Achilles tendon pain. Treatment is all roughly very similar.
Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis Inflammation:
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is the an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There is some debate whether icing is worth doing, but for chronic pain this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- This can be very effective for bottom of the heel and Achilles tendon sore regions.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius or calf muscle and for the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
Remove the Plantar Fascia or Achilles Tendon Stress:
- The key is to prevent future pain.
- This means keeping you active while keeping stress off of your plantar fascia tendon. This will prevent future re-injury and development of plantar fasciitis.
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- The best way to ensure that your plantar fascia, foot and ankle ligaments are not overworked is to support them.
- The best way to support them is to use great orthotics and great shoes.
- Some people may also need to rely on supportive ankle braces and other supportive modalities.
The Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the heel and plantar fascia region.
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, heel spur pain or Achilles tendonitis.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics:
- These are our recommended orthotics for plantar fasciitis.
- Custom orthotics can work very well, but they should not be a first line of treatment.
- There are different types for different shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic, but allow for less correction.
- A full length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
- We recommend doing everything you can to get a good supportive shoe that can fit a full length orthotic.
- This is the best way to maximize your orthotics for great results.
Best Full Length Orthotics:
- These will only work in wider shoes or a good supportive running shoe.
- This will not work in sandals, flats or most women’s dress shoes.
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
- These are a great choice for dress orthotics.
Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:
- These are great options for women’s dress shoes and thinner shoes.
- These are not the most supportive pair of orthotics.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- We personally prefer this method of stretching.
Get A Great Static Stretch:
- These devices are great for stretching while you are resting.
- This will also help take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This works great for plantar fasciitis.
- It can be used while watching TV or at night time.
Best Heel Compression Brace:
- A good compression brace can stabilize your foot from turning outward.
- This prevents your foot from pronated.
- Pronated foot will turn your foot outward in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- For many of her patients this has solved their pain and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
Best Heel Stability Brace:
- Stability brace goes little bit further than the compression brace to stop your foot from turning out.
- This takes pressure off of your heel and plantar fascia.
- At the same time this is a little bit bulkier and does not affect every shoe.
- We find people are little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
- If you think you might have a broken heel, a calcaneal stress fracture or something of similar severity, these products might help!
- Always remember to see a foot and ankle specialist like a podiatrist if you are having plantar fasciitis or more severe pain!
Plantar Fascia Tear, Broken Heel Bone, Achilles Tendon Tear:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a torn plantar fascia ligament, calcaneus stress fracture, heel fracture or insertional Achilles tendon injury: consider protecting your foot!
- The best way to do this is of course to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you are unable to do so it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for very long period of time when they suffer a traumatic injury, unfortunately there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit down job there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be very difficult otherwise.
Heel Injury Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your heel injury. If you are immobilized too long the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg. The Pros are that you injured heel will hopefully have a chance to gradually heal!
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- These are favorite knee scooters and walking devices: