Calcaneal Fracture

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A calcaneal fracture is a break in your calcaneus (heel bone).

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • You can get an infection or bleed too much with surgery. Your heel or foot may not look like it did before your injury. Your symptoms may not go away completely. A cast can cause discomfort and trouble walking. You may get a blood clot in your leg. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.

  • Without treatment, a calcaneal fracture can cause problems with walking and activities, including sports. You may get an infection if you have an open wound. You may also have decreased blood supply to the injured area. This can cause tissue death and lead to amputation.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Overhead trapeze:

This is a metal triangle-shaped grab bar that is hung on the frame of your hospital bed. Caregivers will teach you how to safely use the trapeze to move and change positions while in bed.

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.

    • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.

    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.

  • Antibiotics: You may need antibiotics if you have an open wound. This medicine helps fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Td vaccine: This vaccine is a booster shot used to help prevent diphtheria and tetanus. The Td booster may be given to adolescents and adults every 10 years or for certain wounds and injuries.

Bone scan:

This is a test to look at your heel. The bone scan may show a fracture or infection. You will get a radioactive liquid, called a tracer, through a vein in your arm. The tracer collects in your bones. Pictures will then be taken to look for problems.

Treatment:

  • Support devices: Support devices include casts, splints, and removable boots. These devices prevent heel movement and help your fracture heal. A support device may be the only treatment you need. You may also need crutches to help you move around.

  • Surgery: You may need surgery if your heel bone broke into many pieces or your ligaments were damaged. Ligaments are strong tissues that connect bone. You may need wires, pins, metal plates, or screws to hold the pieces together while you heal.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Calcaneal Fracture (Inpatient Care)

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