Retrocalcaneal bursitis most commonly occurs as s result of repetitive activity that encourages the calf muscles to tighten and shorten from overuse, like repetitively wearing high heels, running and
even wearing tight shoes that pinch at the back of the heel. Symptoms normally include a constant dull ache or burning pain at the back of the heel that is aggravated by any touch or pressure from
tight shoes or movement of the ankle joint. There will normally be noticeable swelling around the back of the heel. In cases of bursitis caused by infection the skin around the affected joint will
appear red and will feel incredibly warm to the touch. Additional symptoms are a high temperature and feverish chills. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is very similar to Achilles bursitis as the bursae are
very close in proximity and symptoms are almost identical however retrocalcaneal bursitis is a lot more common.
Although rare, bursitis also may be caused by an infection, known as septic bursitis. This is a serious medical condition that requires antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent its spread to
other points in the body or the bloodstream. Septic bursitis may cause the back of the ankle to become red or hot. The person may also get the chills or fever and may feel sick and tired. Typically
this type of bursitis would be suspected if there has been any history of an open wound in the area, such as a blister.
When the bursa becomes inflamed after an injury, symptoms usually develop suddenly. When the bursa develops without an injury, symptoms may develop gradually. With both posterior and anterior
Achilles tendon bursitis, symptoms usually include swelling and warmth at the back of the heel. A minimally red, swollen, tender spot develops on the back of the heel. When the inflamed bursa
enlarges, it appears as a red lump under the skin of the heel and causes pain at and above the heel. If posterior Achilles tendon bursitis becomes chronic, the swelling may become hard, fluid-filled,
and red or flesh-colored.
Your doctor will check for bursitis by asking questions about your past health and recent activities and by examining the area. If your symptoms are severe or get worse even after treatment, you may
need other tests. Your doctor may drain fluid from the bursa through a needle (aspiration) and test it for infection. Or you may need X-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound.
Non Surgical Treatment
Podiatric Care may include using anti-inflammatory oral medications or an injection of medication and local anesthetic to reduce the swelling in the bursa. An injection may be used for both diagnosis
and for treatment. When you go to your doctor, x-rays are usually required to evaluate the structure of your foot and ankle to ensure no other problems exist in this area. They may advise you on
different shoewear or prescribe a custom made orthotic to try and control the foot structure especially if you have excessive pronation. Sometimes patients are sent to Physical Therapy for treatment
as well. To aid in relief of pressure points, some simple padding techniques can be utilized. Most all patients respond to these conservative measures once the area of irritation is removed.
Surgery is rarely need to treat most of these conditions. A patient with a soft tissue rheumatic syndrome may need surgery, however, if problems persist and other treatment methods do not help
To prevent bursitis of the heel in the first place, always keep proper form during exercise. In addition, don?t jump into exercises that are too intense without building up to them. Strengthen and
flex your ankle.