A heel stress fracture can develop among those who continuously engage in activities that place excessive strain on the heel bone such as jumping or running. It is important to note that stress fractures should be properly treated to prevent a significant break or other complications. It is essential to allow the affected area to rest and seek medical care as soon as possible if any of the symptoms of a heel stress fracture manifest.
Indications of a heel stress fracture
Initially, the pain that manifests from a developing heel stress fracture might not be intense enough to force the individual to stop activity. In most cases, it feels as an ache and only occurs while engaging in weight-bearing activities.
Getting enough rest will help the pain settle. Nevertheless, if not treated, the pain will gradually intensify and can be felt while at rest. The pain might become intense but localized. Prompt treatment will ensure faster recovery of the injury.
Warmth and swelling
Falls or repetitive pounding on the heel bone can result to a heel stress fracture. Prior to the detection of a stress fracture on an X-ray, the heel area can end up swollen and feels warm to the touch.
In case the fracture is small, getting enough rest and immobilizing the affected area is required. As for bigger breaks, surgery might be needed to fix the bone.
In case bruising develops around the heel area, it indicates that the heel stress fracture is severe. Remember that the bruising typically involves a small area. Nevertheless, in most instances, as the skin turns discolored, the fracture might already progress to substantial damage in the heel bone.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on heel stress fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage fractures including a heel stress fracture, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.