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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

What Happens to a Broken Heel?

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foot xrayFootball season is in full swing, and nobody knows the dangers of a heel fracture better than football players. Anyone can fracture their heel, though – you don’t need to be Tom Brady to end up with your foot in a cast! Since there are different types of fractures, it’s important to know what kind you are dealing with so the healing process can begin.

With regards to broken heel bones, there are two different injuries that can be sustained – acute and chronic. Acute injuries are ones that happen in a single event, like if you are in a car accident or another traumatic event. These result in the more traditional bone fractures. Chronic injuries, on the other hand, are those that develop over time and in response to overuse. When it comes to broken bones, these are typically stress fractures (hairline cracks in the surface of the bone, instead of a complete break).

Regardless as to which kind of injury you have sustained, treatment is going to be needed. Now, if a broken bone has pierced your skin, time is of the essence. This situation could result in a dangerous infection in your body, so seek immediate medical care.

If your skin is intact, start performing first aid on the injured heal. This includes taking measures like elevating the foot and keeping pressure off of it.

Specific treatment will depend on the type and severity of the fracture. In certain cases, rest, ice, elevation, and immobilization is all you need. At other times, you may need to wear a cast for a period of time. Some severe fractures may even require surgery. This is usually recommended if the heel has been pushed out of alignment and needs to be held in place while healing occurs.

After the surgery is complete, you will need to follow our postoperative care instructions, which can entail wearing a cast, staying off your feet for an established period of time, and physical therapy.

If you have any questions about what to expect after a heel fracture, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406. While on the line, be sure schedule an appointment with any of our three Massachusetts office locations.

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