Calcaneal bursitis is an inflammation, bruising, calcification and, in extreme cases, bone spurs on the heels. It can be caused by overuse or stress on the heel, repeated injury, improper footwear, repeated standing or stress caused by being overweight.
With proper care, bursitis pain should decrease over a three-week period. However, it can take up to six weeks for healing to take place due to the presence of scar tissue. Scar tissue may continue to form for up to a year. To prevent this from happening, it may be necessary to wear a brace to prevent stress and re-injury on the affected area.
Treatment for bursitis generally involves stretching the tendons around the affected area, in this case the Achilles tendon. Additionally, the muscles around the ankle will need to be strengthened to better support the joint.
For a time, the patient may be required to stay off the joint to rest it and let it recover. The patient may be advised to use crutches or a wheelchair. Extreme cases may be immobilised in a cast.
Inflammation and swelling of the joint can be reduced using ice. As the inflammation is reduced, some of the pain will decrease as well. If ice does not control swelling and inflammation, the patient may wish to control the inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs.
If the bursitis does not improve over time, the patient may wish to explore surgical options. This may involve removing bone spurs or scar tissue.
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