Hindfoot pain is one of the most common forms of foot pain, and can be the result of many different types of injuries. It is important to have a medical professional determine the cause of your pain, so that you can make the right choice for treatment.
At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence, Medical Director Dr. Irwin Bliss and the rest of our Los Angeles orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of foot pain and deformity. They are renowned for performing the most advanced surgical procedures. If you have severe heel pain or heel pain that persists longer than a few days, you may want to consult with one of our physicians in order to understand the root cause of the pain.
What Causes Hindfoot Pain?
There are many heel pain and ankle pain causes, but some of the most common culprits are:
Achilles tendon tear – A torn Achilles tendon is the most common cause of heel pain, and a partial or full tear often results from sudden impact.
Heel spur – A heel spur occurs when there is a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone, causing extreme heel pain. Heel spurs are commonly associated with plantar fasciitis.
Retrocalcaneal bursitis – Inflammation of the retrocalcaneal bursita, located on the back of the heel bone near the Achilles tendon, is known as retrocalcaneal bursitis. This condition is typically caused by repeated strain to the ankle and heel.
Bone bruise/contusion – Also known as “policeman’s heel,” a bruised heel bone is often caused by sudden impact or repeated pounding, which can cause heel pain.
Stress fracture – A stress fracture involves a small crack in the bone, and when this occurs in the heel, can cause extreme pain.
Nerve entrapment – Nerve entrapment in the heel involves the calcaneal nerve becoming entrapped, which causes pain on the underside of the heel. Additionally, patients may experience pain in the posterior tibial nerve (Baxter’s nerve).
Sprained ankle – An ankle sprain occurs when you twist, roll, or turn your ankle in an awkward way, which tears or stretches the bands of tissue (or ligaments) that hold your ankle bones together.
Broken ankle – Also known as a fractured ankle, a broken ankle can be a simple break (only in one bone), or it can be multiple breaks. Additionally, fractures can cause damage to your ligaments. Typically, broken ankles need ankle surgery to heal.
Unstable ankle – An unstable ankle makes walking difficult and can cause frequent swelling and bruising. Typically, an ankle becomes unstable as a result of repeated strain and multiple twisting injuries, such as a sprained ankle.
Ankle tendonitis – Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, and when this condition occurs in the ankle, it can be very painful. Typically, ankle tendonitis is brought on by a sports injury, but can be caused by any significant change in shoes or increase in physical activity.
If you experience heel or ankle pain, you should contact a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon right away to determine the type and severity of your injury or condition.
Ankle and Heel Pain Treatment
While some injuries that cause hindfoot pain can be treated through conservative methods, others may require surgical treatment. Our Los Angeles outpatient center specializes in the most advanced treatment options for foot pain and deformity, and can offer a personalized plan for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I have heel pain in the morning?
A: If your heel pain is more severe in the morning, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, a heel spur, or even a stress fracture. If this pain persists for more than a few days, you may need to see a foot doctor to determine the cause of your heel pain.
Q: What does it mean if I have heel pain from running?
A: If you experience heel pain during or after running, you may have suffered an injury from repeated impact or stress to your heel. If your heel pain is preventing your from running, you may need medical treatment.
Q: Can you fracture your heel?
A: Yes. A heel fracture (sometimes in the form of a heel stress fracture) can be very painful, and often results from repeated stress or impact.
Q: How is nerve entrapment treated?
A: Usually, conservative treatment methods such as wearing special shoes and receiving cortisone injections are used to treat nerve entrapment. However, in more severe cases, the condition may require surgical decompression to fully treat the problem.
Q: What does it mean if I have ankle swelling?
A: Ankle swelling is typically not cause for alarm. However, persistent swelling could indicate a more serious condition or injury. If your ankles are swollen for an extended period of time, it could be the result of pregnancy, a foot or ankle injury, venous insufficiency, or lymphedema. It is important to see a foot doctor any time you experience prolonged ankle swelling.
Q: Why do I experience ankle pain after running?
A: Running injuries are very common, and typically cause ankle pain or other leg or foot pain. If you experience ankle pain when running or after running, you may want to consider seeing a doctor for treatment.
Q: How long is ankle surgery recovery?
A: Ankle surgery recovery time depends on the type of procedure being performed, as well as the severity of the injury or condition. However, most types of ankle surgery can be performed at our outpatient surgery center in Los Angeles, and patients can usually go home the same day as surgery.
Hindfoot Pain Relief in Los Angeles
If you suffer from heel pain that is severe or persistent, and are interested in learning about heel pain treatment options in Los Angeles, please feel free to contact the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence. Our team of expert orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists work together to provide the most personalized and effective treatments for conditions of the foot.
To learn about treatment options for heel pain or ankle pain at our office, please call (888) 225-0763 or fill out our online contact form.
Next, read about toe pain and deformity.