A bursa is a closed, fluid-filled sac that functions as a cushion and gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the
large joints, such as in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. When the bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is known as bursitis. Bursitis is usually a temporary condition. It may restrain
motion, but generally does not cause deformity.
The calcaneal bursa can become inflamed in patients with heel spurs or in patients with poor-fitting shoes (eg, high heels). Inflammation can occur secondarily from Achilles tendinitis, especially in
young athletes. Patients exhibit tenderness to palpation of the bursa anterior to the Achilles tendon on both the medial and lateral aspects. They have pain with movement, which is worsened with
Symptoms of Achilles bursitis are often mistaken for Achilles tendinitis because of the location of the pain at the back of the heel. When you suffer from Achilles bursitis you will experience some
or all of the following symptoms which are most noticeable when you begin activity after resting. High heels can add pressure on the retrocalcaneal bursa, subcutaneous calcaneal bursa, and Achilles
When you are experiencing Achilles pain at the back of your heel, a visit to the doctor is always recommended. Getting a proper diagnosis is important so you can treat your condition correctly. A
doctor visit is always recommended.
Non Surgical Treatment
With anterior and posterior Achilles tendon bursitis, applying warm or cool compresses to the area and using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can temporarily relieve the pain and
inflammation, as can injections of a corticosteroid/anesthetic mixture into the inflamed bursa. The doctor is careful not to inject the mixture into the tendon. After this treatment, the person
should rest. When these treatments are not effective, part of the heel bone may need to be surgically removed.
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.