Don’t Run Towards a Heel Fracture


A calcaneal stress fracture (Heel Fracture) generally occurs in a quick manner without much notice. The heel bone acts as the structural foundation for the back of the foot and connects the talus and cuboid bones. The joint in between these two bones is central to a properly functioning foot. These fractures cause the heel bone to break and may become stress fractures, which occur from repetitive pressures, such as when participating in sports. Runners therefore are especially prone to this condition since they place high amounts of pressure on their feet. They may exhibit symptoms such as pain when running, a long amount of time required to reduce the pain after running and heel pain evolving into a stress fracture, causing pain all day, not dependent on the activity. After this condition occurs, complications after recovery may include arthritis or a decreased range of ankle motion due to the injured heel bone decreasing the overall length of the leg.

Treatment for this condition includes:

  • Runners should rest their feet as much as possible. Subsequent to a fracture, there should not be much weight bearing on the recovering heel.
  • Utilizing running shoes that protect the feet. This would include making sure that runners’ shoes are no smaller than the size of their feet.
  • Subsequent to a heel fracture, runners can return to training in a slow manner whereby the heel is introduced to increasing levels of resistance over time, such as swimming.
  • Surgery may be required to repair broken bones if the fracture is substantial. Braces will thereafter be helpful to manage any potential complications.

Heel fractures can become a nemesis for runners. Please contact us at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, at any one of our offices in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to get your heel treated with quality care. Our podiatrist, John Schilero, DPM, can help to ensure your heel recovers with the best possible chance of avoiding long-term complications. So, please make an appointment by calling our office at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 and check out our Patient Education library for more information.