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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A calcaneal fracture is a break in your calcaneus (heel bone).
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Antibiotics: You may need antibiotics if you have an open wound. This medicine helps fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Rest: Rest your heel as much as possible. Return to normal activities as directed.
- Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your heel for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Elevate: Raise your heel above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your leg on pillows or blankets to keep your heel elevated comfortably.
Ask when you can bathe. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Also change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. If you have a cast, cover it with 2 plastic trash bags before you bathe. Tape the bags to your skin to keep the water out. Try to bathe with your foot out of the water.
A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
Crutches provide support and decrease the stress on your heel. Use them as directed.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have new blood stains or a bad smell coming from under your cast.
- You have increased pain or swelling, even after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- You have severe pain.
- Your cast breaks or gets damaged.
- Your toes are numb, swollen, cold, or pale.
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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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.