Fat Pad Contusion - Carrollton, TX
Fat Pad Contusion, also known as Bruised Heel, is an overuse injury of the foot. The heel bone (calcaneus) bears a major portion of the body weight while standing, running and walking. A fat pad or an elastic tissue forms a protective covering over the heel bone. Weakening or gradual wear and tear of this layer makes the calceneus vulnerable to bruising, leading to Fat Pad Contusion.

Causes

  • Wearing poor quality shoes having a thin sole
  • Walking barefoot
  • Landing on the heel from a height
  • Jumping on hard or uneven surfaces
  • Being overweight
  • Walking or running continuously
  • Weak bones and ligaments due to old age

Symptoms

  • Pain in the heel while weight bearing
  • Redness or bruising
  • Difficulty while walking
  • Tender and warmth to touch
  • Swelling in an around the heel
  • Dislocation of the fat pad

Diagnosis

  • Physical Examination: The doctor may carry out a physical examination of the heel to diagnose Fat Pad Contusion. Palpation may be done and appearance of the heel may be examined. The patient may be asked to describe the cause and extent of pain.
  • Imaging Tests: An X-Ray test or an MRI scan may be required to rule out a fracture.

Treatment

  • Rest: The patient must not indulge in activities that pressurize the heel, such as walking, running, jumping or any sports activity. Taking weight off the heel for a few days can help to reduce pain.
  • Ice: To relieve pain and swelling, an ice pack may be applied on the heel for a few days. Immersing the foot in cold water can also be beneficial.  
  • Heat: A heat pad may be applied directly on the painful area to relieve symptoms.
  • Elevation: The foot may be elevated above the heart level to provide relief from swelling and pain.
  • Crutches: To keep the body weight off the heel, crutches may be used as support while walking.
  • Orthotics: A protective and cushioning heel cup or orthotic inserts may be placed in the shoes to prevent strain while indulging in everyday activities. Good quality shock absorbent shoes must be worn to protect the heel from further injury.
  • Taping: The doctor may suggest taping to compress the heel and prevent the fat pad from dislocating. It may help to provide the required support as well as cushioning while walking and running.

For complete and effective treatment of Fat Pad Contusion, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.