Ask The Experts

Can you explain the treatment for stress fracture of the heel?

Thank you for contacting IPFH. We do not make diagnoses or furnish medical advice on line. When we refer to bone issues in the heel, it usually involves the calcaneus, which is the largest and primary weight-bearing bone in the rear foot. We would also presume that there has been an "official" diagnosis of the stress fracture (if not, you definitely should consult a foot health professional to get a confirmed diagnosis). The treatment for a stress fracture of the calcaneus usally involves rest, combined with reduced activity on your feet. Offloading of the heel may be done with the use of crutches or a protective/healing boot. The initial period of reduced activity and weight bearing is usually about six weeks (it might be more or less, depending on the severity of the fracture). After this, you can usually work your way gradually into weight-bearing activities and exercise, provided that the symptoms don't reoccur or increase in intensity. This activity increase should be extended over a period of weeks to months, depending on your physician's instructions. Physical therapy may also be recommended. Exercises that put minimal weight on the bone can be done to help maintain fitness levels. These include swimming, cycling, and water exercises (running, aerobics). Exercises to help restore flexibility, balance, strength, and functionality may be prescribed to help restore the area to its normal level of functionality.

We would also caution that in cases of suspected fractures, strains or sprains (and for that matter, any condition that does not resolve within a few days), it is always best not to try to self-medicate, but to consult a medical professional and follow closely his or her instructions and recommendations. We hope this information is helpful and beneficial to you.

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