Calcaneal stress fracture is a hairline fracture of the large heel bone and is often caused by overuse.
This injury was originally seen in soldiers marching long distances carrying heavy weights.
It is common in long distance runners, ballet dancers, and other sports participants involved in jumping.
Symptoms of a calcaneal stress fracture may be similar to that of bruised heels.
The pain begins gradually over time and worsens with weight bearing activity, such as running and jumping.
With some minor calcaneus fractures, the pain may cause limping. The Achilles tendon acts through the calcaneus to support body weight. If the calcaneus is injured, the muscles and tendons cannot support the body weight. The foot and ankle will feel unstable, hindering movement.
Treatment involves rest for 6 to 8 weeks, followed by a gradual return to full training and fitness.
Crutches may be necessary, but with the use of heel pads or cushioning insoles to protect the heel.