Bursitis means inflammation of the bursa. A bursa is a sac-like structure that contains a lubricating fluid. A bursa is located anywhere you need a lubricating cushion-like where a muscle or tendon
rubs over a bone or another muscle. Normally a bursa does its job unnoticed, but if you engage in some strenuous activity, for example, it can let you know exactly where it is. When a bursa is
repeatedly irritated, the body begins to deposit calcium spicules in that location (often these deposits can be seen on X-rays). The spicules are like ground glass in the bursa, and the more you move
that part of your body, the more intense the pain.
Overtraining in a runner (eg, excessive increases in miles or intensity). Tight or poorly fitting shoes that, because of a restrictive heel counter, exert excessive pressure on the posterior heel and
Haglund deformity, causing impingement between the increased posterior superior calcaneal prominence and the Achilles tendon during dorsiflexion. More recent research suggests that a misaligned
subtalar joint axis (measured in terms of joint inclination and deviation) in relation to the Achilles tendon can result in an asymmetrical force load on the tendon, disrupting normal biomechanics.
This altered joint axis is associated with an increased risk for Achilles pathologies, including bursitis.
Some of the symptoms of bursitis in the heel, or retrocalcaneal bursitis, are as described below. Severe pain in the heel area of the foot, sometimes radiating to the ankle, associated with physical
activities like walking, jogging and even on physical contact to the area. The physical signs of heel bursitis, which are noticeable in the heel area, are reddish discoloration of the skin that is
warm to touch.
The doctor will discuss your symptoms and visually assess the bones and soft tissue in your foot. If a soft tissue injury is suspected, an MRI will likely be done to view where and how much the
damage is in your ankle. An x-ray may be recommended to rule out a bone spur or other foreign body as the cause of your ankle pain. As the subcutaneous bursa is close to the surface of the skin, it
is more susceptible to septic, or infectious, bursitis caused by a cut or scrape at the back of the heel. Septic bursitis required antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Your doctor will be able to
determine whether there is an infection or not by drawing a small sample of the bursa fluid with a needle.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment for soft tissue conditions focuses on reducing pain and inflammation, and on preserving mobility and preventing disability and recurrence. The treatment for many soft tissue conditions is
similar. A doctor's recommendations may include a combination of rest, splints, heat and cold application, medications, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. A person with a soft tissue
condition may try several treatments before he or she finds the best one for his or her specific condition.
Bursectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove an inflamed or infected bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between tissues of the body. Because retrocalcaneal bursitis can
cause chronic inflammation, pain and discomfort, bursectomy may be used as a treatment for the condition when it is persistent and cannot be relived with other treatments. During this procedure, a
surgeon makes small incisions so that a camera may be inserted into the joint. This camera is called an arthroscope. Another small incision is made so that surgical instruments can be inserted to
remove the inflamed bursa.