Retrocalcaneal bursitis most commonly occurs as s result of repetitive activity that encourages the calf muscles to tighten and shorten from overuse, like repetitively wearing high heels, running and
even wearing tight shoes that pinch at the back of the heel. Symptoms normally include a constant dull ache or burning pain at the back of the heel that is aggravated by any touch or pressure from
tight shoes or movement of the ankle joint. There will normally be noticeable swelling around the back of the heel. In cases of bursitis caused by infection the skin around the affected joint will
appear red and will feel incredibly warm to the touch. Additional symptoms are a high temperature and feverish chills. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is very similar to Achilles bursitis as the bursae are
very close in proximity and symptoms are almost identical however retrocalcaneal bursitis is a lot more common.
A bursa acts as a cushion and lubricant between tendons or muscles sliding over bone. There are bursas around most large joints in the body, including the ankle. The retrocalcaneal bursa is located
in the back of the ankle by the heel. It is where the large Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Repeated or too much use of the ankle can cause this bursa to become irritated
and inflamed. Possible causes are too much walking, running, or jumping. This condition is usually linked to Achilles tendinitis. Sometimes retrocalcaneal bursitis may be mistaken for Achilles
tendinitis. Risks for this condition include starting an aggressive workout schedule, or suddenly increasing activity level without the right conditioning.
Achiness or stiffness in the affected joint. Worse pain when you press on or move the joint. A joint that looks red and swollen (especially when the bursae in the knee or elbow are affected). A joint
that feels warm to the touch, compared to the unaffected joint, which could be a sign that you have an infection in the bursa. A ?squishy? feeling when you touch the affected part. Symptoms that
rapidly reappear after an injury or sharp blow to the affected area.
Careful examination by your physician or physiotherapist can determine if the inflammation is from the Achilles tendon or from the retrocalcaneal bursa. Tenderness due to insertional Achilles
tendinitis is normally located slightly more distal where the tendon inserts into the back of the heel, whereas tenderness caused by the retrocalcaneal bursa is normally palpable at the sides of the
distal Achilles tendon. Diagnosis can be confirmed with an ultrasound investigation, MRI or CT scan.
Non Surgical Treatment
It is important to treat bursitis in the early stages to reduce the symptoms, minimize damage and maintain motion and strength in your foot. Resting your ankle, using proper cushioning, wearing
comfortable footwear and reducing any activities that add pressure on your bursa will help to reduce your pain and bursitis 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