Synergy Health Partners

Heel Fractures

Definition: Heel fractures, also known as calcaneal fractures, involve a break in the calcaneus bone, which forms the heel of the foot. These fractures can be complex and often result from high-impact injuries.


  • Falls from a significant height landing on the feet
  • Car accidents causing direct impact to the heel
  • Sports injuries involving a severe twist or impact to the foot


  • Severe pain in the heel
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot
  • Deformity or widening of the heel
  • Tenderness when touching the heel


  • Physical Examination: Assessing pain, swelling, and deformity.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to determine the extent and specifics of the fracture.


  • Immobilization: Using a cast or splint to keep the heel stable and allow the bone to heal.
  • Non-weight Bearing: Avoiding putting weight on the affected foot, often using crutches or a wheelchair.
  • Medications: Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain and swelling.
  • Elevation and Ice: Reducing swelling by keeping the foot elevated and applying ice packs.
  • Physical Therapy: After initial healing, exercises to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the foot and ankle.

Surgery: In severe cases where the bone is displaced or fragmented, surgery may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bone with screws, plates, or pins.

Prognosis: Recovery from a heel fracture can take several months, depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment method. Proper rehabilitation is crucial to regain full function and avoid complications such as chronic pain, arthritis, or reduced mobility. In some cases, long-term issues like stiffness or difficulty walking may persist, requiring ongoing management and physical therapy. Early and appropriate treatment can significantly improve the chances of a full recovery.