The calcaneus (heel bone) is the largest of the tarsal bones in the foot. It lies at the back of the foot (hindfoot) below the three bones that make up the ankle joint.
A fracture of the calcaneus, or heel bone, can be a painful and disabling injury. This type of fracture commonly occurs during a high-energy event – such as a car crash or a fall from height – when the heel is crushed under the weight of the body. When this occurs, the heel can widen, shorten, and become deformed.
Calcaneus fractures can be quite severe. Treatment often involves surgery to reconstruct the normal anatomy of the heel and restore mobility so that patients can return to normal activity. But even with appropriate treatment, some fractures may result in long-term complications, such as pain, swelling, loss of motion and arthritis.