Merck Manual

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Broken Heel

(Heel Fracture)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2019
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What is a broken heel?

You can break your heel bone, which is located at the back of your foot. All broken bones are considered fractures. For more information, see Overview of Broken Bones.

  • It takes a lot of force to break your heel bone

  • You may have knee and spine injuries along with a broken heel

  • Usually doctors treat you with a splint, but for a bad fracture they may do surgery

Locating the Heel Bone

Locating the Heel Bone

What causes the heel to break?

Common causes:

  • Falling from a height

  • Car crashes

  • Sports injuries

The heel is also at risk for stress fractures, These are tiny cracks in the bone that come from the same motion happening over and over (such as in long distance running).

What are the symptoms of a broken heel?

Symptoms include:

  • Foot pain

  • Swelling and bruising

  • Inability to put weight on the foot

How can doctors tell if my heel is broken?

Doctors do:

How do doctors treat a broken heel?

Doctors will:

  • Have you wear a cast to hold your bone in place while it heals

  • Sometimes, do surgery

  • Have you do physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and keep your joints working

  • Sometimes, use a cane and a protective shoe or boot when you start walking again

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
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