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Calcaneal fracture

Patient information A-Z

What is a calcaneal fracture?

The calcaneus is a bone in the heel of the foot, commonly referred to as the heel bone. This bone helps support the foot and is important in normal walking motions. Calcaneus fractures are almost always the result of severe, high-energy injuries. They typically occur as a result of a fall from a height, such as falling from a ladder. Other causes of a calcaneus fracture include automobile crashes and sports injuries. The calcaneus can also sustain a stress fracture, an injury sometimes seen in athletes, such as long-distance runners.

Patient information

Swelling and bruising at the fracture site is normal along with severe pain to the heel. Regular pain killers and apply ice to the area, wrapped in a tea towel, will help to reduce swelling and pain. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes three to four times a day.

You should:

  • Take pain killers as prescribed to ensure pain levels are kept under control.
  • Maintain weight bearing restrictions if made, to ensure optimum comfort and healing time.
  • Use ICE and elevation to ease swelling and therefore reduce pain levels.

You should not:

  • Miss your clinical appointment if one has been made.
  • Take part in any physical/contact sports which may put you at risk of further injury. The time frame for this will be outlined at the point of assessment.
  • Drive whilst wearing the walking boot as you will void your insurance should you have an accident.

Calcaneus fractures may be treated with a cast, or, surgery may be recommended. If the fracture is not out of position, non-invasive treatment will be recommended. A clinic appointment will be made for you, at which a plan and management will be made by the assessing consultant.

Please remember:

Please contact your GP if your condition is not improving, or if your pain relief is inadequate. If your condition is worsening please contact the multi professional fracture clinic on 01223 348299 or 01223 257095 For more information please visit: Fracture information website

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151