Bursitis is defined as inflammation of a bursa. Humans have approximately 160 bursae. These are saclike structures between skin and bone or between tendons, ligaments, and bone. The bursae are lined
by synovial tissue, which produces fluid that lubricates and reduces friction between these structures.
Certain medical conditions and medications suppress people's immune systems and make them more susceptible to septic bursitis. For example, people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, alcoholism, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes may be more likely to get septic bursitis. History of inflammation of the bursa. Patients who have had bursitis in the past have an increased chance
of getting it again. There may be more than one reason why the retrocalcaneal bursa is inflamed. In these cases, treatment should address all of the causes.
The main symptom of heel bursitis is pain. You may experience pain in your heel when you walk or run. There may also be pain if the area is touched or if you stand on your tiptoes. In addition to
pain, the area may appear red and warm, which are both signs of inflammation. Even if you have these symptoms, only a doctor can determine if you have bursitis of the heel. Your doctor will use these
symptoms along with a general exam to determine if you are suffering from bursitis of the heel.
Like all other forms of bursitis, initially the physician will take down the history of symptoms experienced by the patient, this will be followed by a detailed physical examination which involves
checking for inflammation signs like pain, redness, and warmth of the heel area. The physician might examine further by moving the ankle a little to determine the exact location of pain. Further
diagnostic tests including x-ray, bone scans, and MRI scan might be suggested if required.
Non Surgical Treatment
Many cases of retrocalcaneal bursitis can be resolved with self-care that is focused on reducing inflammation and eliminating activities or positions that aggravate the bursa. Some cases, however,
may become more serious and require more medical interventions. Rarely, surgery is needed. Following the R.I.C.E. formula, or Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, is often sufficient to treat
aseptic bursitis. Rest. People with retrocalcaneal bursitis should avoid activities that irritate the bursa, such as jogging or excessive walking. Ice. Applying a cold compress to the back of the
ankle for about 20 minutes two or three times a day may help alleviate symptoms and decrease swelling. Compression. An elastic medical bandage (e.g. Ace? bandage) wrapped around the affected heel and
ankle can help control swelling. Elevating the affected heel. Sitting down with the leg elevated on a stool or lying down with the foot elevated on a pillow can help reduce blood flow to the area,
thereby reducing inflammation.
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