Calcaneal Fractures Heel Fractures


What Should You Know About Heel Fractures?

Heel fractures, or calcaneal fractures, are serious injuries that often occur from a high-energy impact such as a car accident or fall from height. If left untreated, many calcaneus fractures may go on to cause long-term problems such as arthritis or difficulty wearing shoes. Depending on the pattern and severity of the fracture, surgery may or may not be recommended.

X-rays are useful in diagnosing a calcaneal fracture. Prior to surgery it will be requested that you obtain a CT scan so that we can understand your fracture in more detail and allow more specific planning for surgery.

Dr. Levine is a foot and ankle orthopaedist, located in New York, with vast experience in treating calcaneal fractures. He uses state of the art and groundbreaking techniques that are designed to aide in better fixation of your fracture leading to better outcomes for you. This gives you the opportunity to start your rehabilitation quicker, starting movement and therapy as early as two weeks post-operatively.

Surgical Treatment

If surgery is recommended, you may be required to wait about two weeks before going to the operating room in order to allow swelling to go down. This is important so that your skin is able to close after an incision is made, thus promoting healing of your wound and decreasing risk of infection. During these 2 weeks you will be in a protective boot, but will be allowed to remove it for ankle exercises to keep your movement and help decrease swelling. You can also remove it for icing.

What to expect if you need surgery?

HSS is a hospital that performs only orthopaedic surgeries. Therefore, we have a highly specialized group of physician assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists that assist the surgeon during your surgery as well as during the post-operative period to ensure that you receive the best care. It may be suggested that you stay overnight following surgery. Most healthy individuals are ready to go home the next day.

If you live in New York and would like to learn more about calcaneal fractures, contact us today.

Additional Information Regarding Heel Fractures

A heel (calcaneus) fracture is one of the more significant foot injuries that a person can experience. Without the proper care, such an injury could potentially impact a person’s ability to perform day to day tasks, such as walking, driving, and even standing for a period of time. However, with the help of a New York orthopedic foot & ankle surgeon, such as Dr. Levine, it is treatable. If you think that you may have suffered a heel fracture, schedule an appointment with Dr. Levine so that you can get the right care and give yourself the best possible outcome. These fractures require treatment from a highly trained orthopedic surgeon who performs this surgery frequently.

Heel fractures typically occur after fall from a height or from impact such as a car accident.  Patients typically feel pain over the back of the foot and have more pain if the area is touched or squeezed. It is often difficult to bear any sort of weight in the more severe cases.  During the examination, the doctor could discover swelling or fracture blisters.

If the patient has only suffered a minor heel fracture, they may still be able to walk and may not require surgery.  If the calcaneus is deformed by the injury, on the other hand, it is often recommended to improve its alignment so that it can heal in an appropriate position.  If it heals with significant deformity, it could pose issues for something as simple, but essential, as wearing shoes. 

The technique that is used by Dr. Levine, New York orthopedic surgeon, to repair a fractured heel involves an open reduction and internal fixation. This means that an incision is made on the outside of the foot, bones are pieced back together, and hardware is put in place to hold the bones while they heal. 

At the time of injury, a joint known as the subtalar joint can sometimes be affected by the calcaneus fracture.  Restoring the proper dimensions of the bone is helpful at reducing the risk of post-traumatic arthritis. However, if arthritis ensues just based on the severity of the initial injury, future surgeries may be needed depending on the patient’s pain and limitation on function. In either case, it is important to treat this type of fracture appropriately in order to provide the best, long-term outcome. Dr. Levine has extensive experience in both the acute management and long term care of heel fractures.

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