Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

What is Retrocalcaneal Bursitis?

Retrocalcaneal bursitis is the most common heel bursitis.

Retrocalcaneal bursitis is inflammation of the bursa (a small, cushioning sac located where tendons pass over areas of bone around the joints), which lies over your heel (calcaneum) where your Achilles tendon inserts.

What re Retrocalcaneal Bursitis Symptoms?

One or more of the following symptoms may be experienced:
Pain and swelling occurring over the rear your heel.Pain when you are leaning on your heel eg. sitting with heels on the ground.Increased pain when using your calf running, walking, calf raises.

What Causes Retrocalcaneal Bursitis?

The retrocalcaneal bursa may be inflamed by your Achilles tendon rubbing over the bursa and causing friction against the heel bone. This injury can occur traumatically from a fall or a sport-related impact contusion. It can also be a case of gradual onset via a repetitive trauma to the bursa from activities as running and jumping (with poor muscles control or technique), or excessive loading on your heel. It is also a secondary injury associated with chronic conditions such as: Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs.

How is Retrocalcaneal Bursitis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will provide you with an assessment of your medical history and a physical examination of your heel and ankle. A hallmark sign is swelling or tenderness of your heel around the insertion of your Achilles tendon.
Diagnosis can also be confirmed by medical imaging techniques that include ultrasound scan & MRI.

What is Retrocalcaneal BursitisTreatment?


Rest is recommended to the affected extremity, which includes avoiding strenuous physical activities, staircase climbing and walking on irregular surfaces.


This is a form of conventional treatment for inflammations in and around the ankle joint, which includes keeping the ankle joint immersed in luke warm water over a period of 15-20 mins. Patients are motivated to move the ankle joint through complete range of motion.

Ice Bursitis

is an inflammed bursa. Daily application of ice packs is highly recommended to reduce your pain and swelling.
Medications NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory drugs. Use of these medications should be discussed only after consultation with your orthopaedic surgeon.

Corticosteroid Injections

Single injection of a corticosteroid with a local anaesthetic into the bursa may be required to stimulate your healing response. It is preferable to have this injection using ultrasound guidance

Open Excision – This is a form of conventional treatment for bursitis, which involves incision behind the ankle and removal of the affected bursa.

Arthroscopic Bursectomy – This is a form of minimal access surgery, which involves two key hole incisions over ankle and excision of bursa.



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