Foot Care

Diagnosis and Treatment of Retrocalcaneal Exostosis

Retrocalcaneal exostosis is a condition involving pain in the back of the heel. It is caused by an overgrowth of bone in this region. Over the period of time spurs develop on the bone and they destroy the Achilles tendon attachements in the process.

The affected age group can range between 20-80 years. Incidences are found to be more in middle-aged, elderly and obese people. Women are more at risk of developing this condition than men. This article tries to understand the difficulties in diagnosis, challenges met during surgical treatment and complications which might arise post surgery.

Diagnosis of Retrocalcaneal Exostosis:

Some conditions like Haglund’s deformity, Achilles tendinitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis, ankle equinus or plantar heel spur syndrome are found to affect simultaneously along with this condition. This calls for caution at the time of diagnosis on the doctors part.

Treatment of Retrocalcaneal Exostosis:

This condition requires one of the most cumbersome treatment procedures among all back of the heel complications. In order to remove the spur in this condition, incision is to be made through the Achilles tendon. It is an important connection between the heel and the calf and is considered one of the strongest in the body. This step makes the surgical treatment procedure difficult for even the skilled doctors. The soft tissues surrounding the region should be very carefully handled.

Surgeons do not hastily decide to carry out surgery in this section of the back heel. Recovery is possible if good care and adequate rest are provided the patient, though the period is long. There are couple of the complications which can arise after this surgery. The tendon can undergo a rupture. Sometimes a cicatrix develops in the operated region. It is a scar left as new connective tissue form over the healing wound.

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