Retrocalcaneal bursitis is closely related to Haglund?s Deformity (or ?pump bumps?). If you have a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that rubs the Achilles tendon, it can cause the formation
of a bursa (small fluid filled sack). It usually happens in athletes as shoes rub against the heel. The bursa can aggravated by the stitching of a heel counter in the shoe as well. It can make
wearing shoes and exercising difficult. Another term used for this condition is ?pump bump? because it can frequently occur with wearing high heels as well. ?Retro-" means behind and ?calcaneus?
means heel bone. So this is precisely where the bursitis (inflammation of the bursa) develops. Once it begins and you develop bursitis between the heel bone and the Achilles tendon, it can become
even more painful. When most people first notice retrocalcaneal bursitis, it is because the skin, bursa and other soft tissues at the back of the heel gets irritated as the knot of bone rubs against
the heel counter in shoes. The back of the shoes create friction and pressure that aggravate the bony enlargement and pinches the bursa while you walk.
The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the heel because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up
behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating, blood and fluids back up behind the injured heel, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.
The following are the most common symptoms of bursitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Bursitis can cause pain, localized tenderness, and limited motion. Swelling and
redness may occur if the inflamed bursa is close to the surface (superficial). Chronic bursitis may involve repeated attacks of pain, swelling, and tenderness, which may lead to the deterioration of
muscles and a limited range of motion. The symptoms of bursitis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Bursitis is usually diagnosed after a careful physical examination and a full review of your medical history. If you garden and spend a lot of time on your knees, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis,
tell your doctor, this information can be very helpful. During the physical exam, he or she will press on different spots around the joint that hurts. The goal is to locate the specific bursa that is
causing the problem. The doctor will also test your range of motion in the affected joint. Other tests usually aren?t required to diagnose bursitis, but your doctor may suggest an MRI, X-ray or
ultrasound to rule out other potential causes of pain.
Non Surgical Treatment
The most important part of treating bursitis is resting your Achilles tendon while the bursa heals. Resting your ankle as much as possible may decrease swelling and keep the bursitis from getting
worse. When the pain decreases, begin normal, slow movements. Ice causes blood vessels to constrict (get small) which helps decrease inflammation (swelling, pain, and redness). Put crushed ice in a
plastic bag or use a bag of frozen corn or peas. Cover it with a towel. Put this on your heel for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times each day. Do not sleep on the ice pack because you can get
frostbite. After two or three days, you may try using heat to decrease pain and stiffness. Use a hot water bottle, heating pad, whirlpool or warm, moist compress. To make a compress, dip a clean
washcloth in warm water. Wring out the extra water and put it on your heel for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times each day. Your caregiver may tell you to switch between treating your heel with
ice packs and heat treatments. Follow the caregiver's directions carefully when doing these treatments.
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