Victor Cruz- the NFL New York Giant’s wide receiver has brought the fans up and down from the bruised heel injury he has had. Upon further testing and from the X-Ray, the diagnosis was negative for heel bruise and the team was told that Victor should be able to return for the season. However, Victor showed up on crutches and was wearing a walking boot when meeting with the media on Tuesday Aug. 23, 2013.
What are the symptoms of heel bruise? PAIN, SWELLING and the feeling as if you have just walked on a “stone” are common symptoms of heel bruise. Heel bruise can be a cause of these followings: stepping on a stone, jumping or landing awkwardly from a high level, or running with the heel strike instead of forefoot loading. What really happens in a bruised heel is that the fat pad on the bottom of the foot is contused, split or torn. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is the common treatment for the heel bruise. Fat pad pathology usually takes 4-6 weeks to completely heel. Therefore, this can be a potential problem for a high-level athlete who hurries to get back to the sports.
However, heel bruise is commonly mistaken with plantar fasciitis. What is plantar fasciitis? It is a common terminology that we often hear. Plantar fasciitis is medically defined as the inflammation of the plantar fascia. Plantar fascia is the longitudinal band attaching from the heel to the ball of your foot. It is there to support the arch either from walking, or running. However, obesity, tight Achilles tendon (from not having enough of stretching) or equinus (biomechanical deformity of the foot) can result to plantar fasciitis. Symptoms to look for when diagnosing plantar fasciitis are “Pain is the worst when first getting out of bed but quickly improves after a few steps. However at the end of the day, the pain can be intolerable.” To treat the plantar fasciitis, conservative treatments such as massaging the ball of the foot with an ice-water bottle, applying arch-support either by padding or orthotics, stretching the Achilles, or calf muscles, or seeking physical therapy for additional stretching exercises. Had all the conservative treatments were considered, more aggressive treatments such as steroid injections and surgery can be considered.
If you suspect that you have either a heel bruise or plantar fasciitis, please make an appointment with a podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center in Howell, New Jersey. We are here to help!