Calcaneal Stress fracture / Heel stress fracture / Heel Pain
Stress fractures of the calcaneus (heel bone) will seem to have no specific cause. They are not caused by a single traumatic event but rather smaller repetitive injuries that build into a stress fracture over time. When suffering this type of pain the patient can rarely recall an injury.
Symptoms of a calcaneal stress fracture usually include pain on the medial (inside) and lateral (outside) heel that is aggravated by weight bearing activity (walking, running, standing). The pain from a calcaneal stress fracture can usually be reproduced by squeezing the calcaneus from both sides at the same time.
Calcaneal stress fractures are not to be confused with other conditions that cause heel pain such as plantar fasciitis, bruised heels / fat pad consusions or plantar calcaneal bursitis. These conditions will all cause pain in the heel.
Causes for calcaneal stress fractures generally include overtraining, poor footwear, mechanical abnormalities of the foot (over pronation) and inadequate cushioning of the heel at heel strike.
Treatment for calcaneal stress fractures includes avoiding aggravating activities such as running and jumping, controlling the mechanics of the foot (with an orthotic) and cushioning the heel. If the pain persists with the above treatment it is usually necessary to cast the foot and remain non weight bearing for 6 to eight weeks.
Orthotics that can help to relieve and prevent calcaneal stress fractures can be found below.