Infracalcaneal bursitis can significantly affect a person?s quality of life and his or her ability to perform activities of daily living, due to pain and impaired gait. This foot health problem may
be diagnosed in several ways, including by palpation, or light pressure applied to the affected area by a healthcare practitioner. If the heel pain has existed for a long time, X-ray imaging studies
may reveal localized calcification in the infracalcaneal bursa, though this is not always the case. MRI images are sometimes used as a diagnostic tool for this health problem, though MRI studies are
considered unnecessary for diagnosis in many cases.
Although rare, bursitis also may be caused by an infection, known as septic bursitis. This is a serious medical condition that requires antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent its spread to
other points in the body or the bloodstream. Septic bursitis may cause the back of the ankle to become red or hot. The person may also get the chills or fever and may feel sick and tired. Typically
this type of bursitis would be suspected if there has been any history of an open wound in the area, such as a blister.
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.
A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist may be all that is necessary to diagnose a retrocalcaneal bursitis. Diagnosis may be confirmed with an ultrasound investigation,
MRI or CT scan.
Non Surgical Treatment
The initial course of treatment for this problem, after the usual ice and ibuprofen/aspirin routine or course, is to change footwear, especially if the onset of the problem was coincidental with a
new pair of shoes. If this fails, a small heel lift (no more than ??) in both shoes may provide enough biomechanical adjustment to relieve the stress and/or friction over the area. If there is still
no improvement, complete rest from running is probably advised, along with a professional consultation.
You can help to prevent heel pain and bursitis by maintaining a healthy weight, by warming up before participating in sports and by wearing shoes that support the arch of the foot and cushion the
heel. If you are prone to plantar fasciitis, exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon (heel cord) and plantar fascia may help to prevent the area from being injured again. You also can massage the
soles of your feet with ice after stressful athletic activities. Sometimes, the only interventions needed are a brief period of rest and new walking or running shoes.