The calcaneus, the heel bone, is the largest of the 26 bones in the foot. This bone can cause a lot of pain. The heel problems listed below are one the most common reasons for doctors appointments for the heel.
Heel calluses, also called plantar calluses, develop when one metatarsal bone is longer or lower than the others and it hits the ground with more force than it is equipped to handle-at every step. As a result, the skin under this bone thickens like a rock in your shoe. The callus causes irritation and pain.
Sometimes, a procedure called an osteotomy is performed to relieve the pressure on the bone. The procedure involves cutting the metatarsal bone in a “V” shape and lifting the bone and aligning it with the other bones.
Heel fissures, or cracking of the skin of the heels, are an often painful condition that can cause bleeding. Open-backed sandals or shoes, which allow more slippage around the heel while walking, are often the culprits. The skin thickens as a result of the friction.
Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)
Plantar fasciitis (or heel pain) is commonly traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Our practice can evaluate arch pain, and may prescribe customized shoe inserts called orthoses to help alleviate the pain.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the connective tissue that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. Also called “heel spur syndrome,” the condition can usually be successfully treated with conservative measures such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy.