Pain in the Back of the Heel or Ankle

Insertional Achilles tendinosis is when micro trauma or tears occur on the Achilles tendon from repetitive overload stress. Over time this can also lead to Achilles tendon inflammation especially where it inserts into the heel bone called the calcaneus. This is an acute or chronic condition that is associated with pain and swelling at the back of the heel or ankle region.

The following is a list of other possible signs and symptoms of insertional Achilles tendon injury:

  • Achy pain on first step with redness or swelling at the back of the heel
  • Sharp pain or palpation at the back of the ankle where the Achilles inserts
  • An associated lump located on the heel bone with an overuse or chronic injury
  • Irritation with shoe gear rubbing against the heel

This painful condition is common among athletic or work-related overuse injuries as well as repetitive friction from improper shoe gear. Your podiatrist or doctor may order radiographic imaging to determine if you have a prominent heel bone or calcaneal tuberosity called a Haglund’s deformity that is contributing to the friction and irritation to the area.

Your podiatrist may suggest to modify some activities such as avoid walking uphill or on uneven surfaces, and walking in open back shoe gear. Other alternative treatments a podiatrist may prescribe are to immobilize you in a walking boot as well as taking NSAIDS to decrease the tendon inflammation. Your doctor or podiatrist may also recommend physical therapy that focuses on stretching the calf muscles to relieve the strain on the Achilles tendon. If conservative treatments fail, then surgery may be indicated especially in chronic cases. So call your podiatrist today to diagnosis and best treat insertional Achilles tendinosis!

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.