The most important thing to consider when treating calcaneal stress fractures is the time they take to heal. Do not wait to treat stress fractures, or to visit your podiatrist for a diagnosis. If treated improperly or ignored, stress fractures will only worsen with time or reoccur, even leading to deformities that restrict motion and activity, cause arthritis and make shoes incredibly uncomfortable.
Your podiatrist and you can work together to find the proper treatment plan for your injury, which will likely include a combination of rest, immobilization with a caste or rigid shoe, avoiding the aggravating activity, ice, NSAIDs, physical therapy for rehabilitation, and surgery in extreme cases. Non-operative treatment of calcaneus fractures will range from limiting weight bearing activities and the use of crutches, limiting motion through casting, splinting or bracing for a short period of time, and range-of-motion exercises so that your muscles don’t atrophy and the blood keeps circulating to the healing area that needs it most. Be patient with your injury, as it takes time, usually around three months, to heal stress fractures. In extreme cases, or in the case that you have poor circulation or diabetes, surgical approaches for calcaneus fractures may be a good option for your injury. Be sure to discuss the benefits of surgical treatment with your podiatrist.