It takes excessive force to fracture or break the bones in the hindfoot. Injuries most frequently result from car crashes or from falls from extreme heights. Fractures may occur in the heel or in the bone located on top of the heel. Hindfoot fractures take a long time to heal, with or without surgery.
The bones in your hindfoot include the heel bone (the calcaneus), and the talus, which is located on top of the calcaneus. The talus forms the ankle joint with the two leg bones that are positioned on its upper side, the tibia and fibula. The hindfoot distributes your body weight across your foot when you stand or walk.
Hindfoot Fracture Causes
Any strong impact can cause hindfoot fractures. They may result from a vehicle crash, a fall from some extreme height, and as is becoming more common, snowboarding.
Hindfoot Fracture Symptoms
Hindfoot fractures can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and bruising. You will most likely not be able to put weight on your foot to stand or walk.
Hindfoot Fracture Diagnosis
You should contact your doctor right away if you suspect that you have fractured your hindfoot. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help prevent future problems. Your doctor will review your medical history, conduct an examination, and order imaging tests. X-rays and CT scans are used to show the location of your fracture and if the broken bones have been dislocated or not.
Hindfoot Fracture Treatment
In select cases, hindfoot fractures with bones that have not been dislocated may be treated non-surgically. You may need to wear a cast or a splint to position your foot while the bone heals. The bone will take approximately six to eight weeks to heal, during which time you should not put weight on your foot. You will very likely need to use a walker or crutches to stand or walk.
Hindfoot Fracture Surgery
Surgery is necessary for most hindfoot fractures if the bones have moved out of place. During surgery, the bones are realigned into the proper position and secured with surgical hardware. Sometimes a bone graft can be required to fill in the gaps from crushed bone.
Following surgery, a protective cast or splint is worn while your bones heal. You will not be able to put any weight on your foot for approximately 6-10 weeks. You may need to use a cane or wear a special boot when you first begin walking after surgery.
Hindfoot Fracture Recovery
Physical therapy usually follows any treatment for hindfoot fracture. You will be given exercises to increase motion and strength in the ankle joint. Over time, you will be able to increase the weight placed on your injured foot with the guidance of a physical therapist. Overall, hindfoot fractures can take a long time to heal. Some take up to a year. Your doctor can let you know what to expect.
Hindfoot Fracture Prevention
You can help prevent future complications from hindfoot fractures by receiving prompt professional care. If left untreated, arthritis, deformity, and problems using the foot are more likely to develop in the future.
At SPORT, we will identify the source of your pain and then utilize state-of-the-art therapeutic techniques that focus on restoring your range of motion.
Depending on the specific condition and its severity, these treatment options may include physical therapy, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, slings and supports, cortisone shots, or surgery.
If you have an acute or chronic foot or ankle injury that needs medical attention, call SPORT at (469) 200-2832 to arrange a consultation or you can request one online. Hurt today? We can arrange a same-day urgent care visit to ensure you get fast, effective relief.