Foot Pain Treatment Videos | Issaquah Podiatry Services | Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists

Heel Pain

    • Fractures Of The Calcaneus Heel Bone
      Brandon Nelson, DPM
      by Brandon Nelson, DPM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      What is the Calcaneus? 
      The calcaneus, also called the heel bone, is a large bone that forms the foundation of the rear part of the foot. The calcaneus connects with the talus and cuboid bones. The connection between the talus and calcaneus forms the subtalar joint. This joint is important for normal foot function.


      The calcaneus is often compared to a hard boiled egg, because it has a thin, hard shell on the outside and softer, spongy bone on the inside. When the outer shell is broken, the bone tends to collapse and become fragmented. For this reason, calcaneal fractures are severe injuries. Furthermore, if the fracture involves the joints, there is the potential for long-term consequences such as arthritis and chronic pain.

      How do Calcaneal Fractures Occur?
      Most calcaneal fractures are the result of a traumatic event—most commonly, falling from a height, such as a ladder, or being in an automobile accident where the heel is crushed against the floorboard. Calcaneal fractures can also occur with other types of injuries, such as an ankle sprain. A smaller number of calcaneal fractures are stress fractures, caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the heel bone.

      Types of Calcaneal Fractures 
      Fractures of the calcaneus may or may not involve the subtalar and surrounding joints.  Fractures involving the joints (intra-articular fractures) are the most severe calcaneal fractures, and include damage to the cartilage (the connective tissue between two bones). The outlook for recovery depends on how severely the calcaneus was crushed at the time of injury.

      Fractures that don’t involve the joint (extra-articular fractures) include:

      • Those caused by trauma, such as avulsion fractures (in which a piece of bone is pulled off of the calcaneus by the Achilles tendon or a ligament) or crush injuries resulting in multiple fracture fragments
      • Stress fractures, caused by overuse or mild injury.

      The severity and treatment of extra-articular fractures depend on their location and size.

      Signs and Symptoms 
      Calcaneal fractures produce different signs and symptoms, depending on whether they are traumatic or stress fractures.

      The signs and symptoms of traumatic fractures may include:

      • Sudden pain in the heel and inability to bear weight on that foot
      • Swelling in the heel area
      • Bruising of the heel and ankle

      The signs and symptoms of stress fractures may include:

      • Generalized pain in the heel area that usually develops slowly (over several days to weeks)
      • Swelling in the heel area

      To diagnose and evaluate a calcaneal fracture, the foot and ankle surgeon will ask questions about how the injury occurred, examine the affected foot and ankle, and order x-rays. In addition, advanced imaging tests are commonly required.

      Treatment of calcaneal fractures is dictated by the type of fracture and extent of the injury. The foot and ankle surgeon will discuss with the patient the best treatment—whether surgical or non-surgical—for the fracture.

      For some fractures, non-surgical treatments may be used. These include:

      • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.) Rest (staying off the injured foot) is needed to allow the fracture to heal. Ice reduces swelling and pain; apply a bag of ice covered with a thin towel to the affected area. Compression (wrapping the foot in an elastic bandage or wearing a compression stocking) and elevation (keeping the foot even with or slightly above the heart level) also reduce the swelling.
      • Immobilization. Sometimes the foot is placed in a cast or cast boot to keep the fractured bone from moving. Crutches may be needed to avoid weightbearing.

      For traumatic fractures, treatment often involves surgery to reconstruct the joint, or in severe cases, to fuse the joint. The surgeon will choose the best surgical approach for the patient.

      Whether the treatment for a calcaneal fracture has been surgical or non-surgical, physical therapy often plays a key role in regaining strength and restoring function.

      Complications of Calcaneal Fractures 
      Calcaneal fractures can be serious injuries that may produce lifelong problems. Arthritis, stiffness, and pain in the joint frequently develop. Sometimes the fractured bone fails to heal in the proper position. Other possible long-term consequences ofcalcaneal fractures are decreased ankle motion and walking with alimp due to collapse of the heel bone and loss of length in the leg. Patients often require additional surgery and/or long term or permanent use of a brace or an orthotic device (arch support) to help manage these complications.

    • Severs Disease
      Timothy W. H. Young, DPM
      by Timothy W. H. Young, DPM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      The most common cause of heel pain for children during periods of growth is Sever's Disease also called Calcaneal Apophysitis. Dr. Young has uploaded a new video that discusses this topic in detail and can be viewed below. Sever's disease or Apophysitis is a common condition that afflicts children usually between the ages of 8 to 14 years old.

      When children complain of heel pain it should not be ignored. This time of year is when we see many patients with this type of pain. Often the pain is most noticable after children are playing sports and most pronounced with any sport that requires the use of cleats.

      The video about Sever's Disease discusses the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and more. For more information about this condition visit the website for information about Sever's Disease.

      While this type of heel pain is often common in children and can be something that they "out-grow", they do not have to live with the pain. If your child complains of heel pain contact us and we can help. To more images of the cause of this type of pain and a patient xray visit the link below. You will also find a comprehensive list of treatment options including some that can be performed at home.

    • Plantar Fasciitis Taping
      Timothy W. H. Young, DPM
      by Timothy W. H. Young, DPM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      Taping for plantar fasciitis. Dr. Timothy Young of the Issaquah Foot and Ankle Specialists demonstrates how to tape a foot for plantar fasciitis.
    • Plantar Fasciitis: Arch Pain

      Arch pain typically is the term used to describe pain under the arch of the foot.  Arch pain indicates inflammation of the tissues within the midfoot and is most commonly caused by plantar fasciitis.  Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes.  Arch pain is most commonly found early in the morning due to the plantar fascia becoming contracted and tight during sleep.  Walking or standing for long periods of time can also aggravate the plantar fascia, causing it to become inflamed and irritated.  Treatment options include orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises and Tenex Health TX® System.

      We have developed unique protocols for treating plantar fasciitis. We have created a unique resource for heel pain sufferers, visit the Seattle Heel Pain Center today.

    • Plantar Fasciitis
      Timothy W. H. Young, DPM
      by Timothy W. H. Young, DPM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and it involves pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue, that runs along the bottom of the foot.  The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes.  Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain in the foot and is normally most prominent after prolonged periods of inactivity such as the initial steps in the morning after sleeping.  Anyone is susceptible to plantar fasciitis, but it is most commonly found in those that are overweight, pregnant women, runners or people that wear improperly fitted shoes.  The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are as follows: pain that develops gradually, affects just one foot, is worse with the first few steps after inactivity and/or feels like sharp pain in the heel of the foot.  There are many treatment options available for plantar fasciitis, which include: anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, physical therapy, night splints, orthotics, extracorporeal shock wave therapy or surgery.
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