A heel fracture can definitely take its toll on your lifestyle. Not only do these severe fractures cause constant pain, but they can affect basic mobility. And if left untreated, they can cause long-term disabilities. As the heel (or “calcaneus”) is the foot’s largest bone, it’s understandable that any damage is problematic. Besides offering a greater likelihood of injury, the heel houses the Achilles’ tendon, and multiple nerves, blood vessels, and muscles enabling movements.
As such, a heel fracture requires immediate, qualified medical attention. For these injuries, there may be no better destination than the Florida Hospital Orthopaedic Institute Fracture Care Center (FCC). J. Cole Dean, MD, the Center’s Medical Director, is considered a trailblazer in orthopaedic trauma and specializes in the treatment of calcaneus fractures.
Dr. Cole pioneered the minimally invasive surgical (MIS) to heel fracture treatment. His techniques are now considered the gold standard among orthopaedic specialists. He has assembled a skilled team of surgical and medical professionals with years of experience in calcaneus treatment and related conditions. Including:
- Foot fractures or dislocations
- Arthritis in the foot or ankle
- Diabetes-related deformities
- Foot deformities, including flat feet
After undergoing a MIS heel fracture procedure, patients generally experience a faster recovery, decreased complications, improved mobility and all-around health improvements. You’re also less likely to experience stiffness and pain to the foot post-surgery, which could require additional procedures.
Upon having surgery at our location, patients typically return to work or school more quickly, with only minimal restrictions once the fracture has healed. Visit the heel fracture treatment page for more details.
We encourage you to contact the Fracture Care Center to schedule a heel fracture treatment.
While numerous causes may be responsible, heel (calcaneus) fractures can take a damaging toll on patients’ lifestyles, regardless of severity. Left untreated, these fractures can make walking extremely painful. The Florida Hospital Orthopaedic Institute Fracture Care Center (FCC) has become a destination for heel fracture treatment.
When dealing with heel and related fractures, both the cause and degree of the deformity may determine the proper heel fracture treatment. With these injuries, it’s not uncommon for the heel bone (or “calcaneus”) to be misaligned with the ankle and/or leg. Should this occur, surgery may be required to reshape the heel.
Fortunately, the FCC orthopaedic specialists have performed countless procedures to treat heel fractures, with an amazing success rate. Dr. Cole, places a great importance on minimally invasive surgery (MIS), especially in the repair of heel fractures, and has pioneered the approach. This technique has shown to impart fewer complications and has resulted in highly successful outcomes.
Benefits of MIS Heal Fracture Treatment
Dr. Cole has continually perfected a unique, specialized calcaneus treatment that is used by all FCC physicians. Specifically, this procedure actually restores the bones’ normal shapes. In this surgical procedure, the surgeon makes a small (1-1.5 inch) incision on the outer part of the foot (as seen in the accompanying illustration). The orthopaedic specialists then cut into the problematic bones (an “osteotomy”), redirecting them into their desired positions using external devises removed before the patient awakes from surgery.
Both the reshaping, along with the pull of the accompanying tendons, contributes to beneficial outcomes and decreased complication rates. The MIS approach generally restores normal range of motion for patients’ feet and ankles. Typically, these patients return to work with minimal restrictions once the fracture has healed. Dr. Cole’s approach may also minimize the development of stiff painful feet that ultimately requires more surgery.
This heel fracture treatment is in stark contrast to the traditional open approach used by other orthopaedic surgeons. The traditional approach utilizes a large L-shaped incision (as illustrated in the picture on this page). The risk for complications increases with this procedure because the large incision can affect healthy tissue, muscle and crucial nerves in your foot.
In addition, if a patient sustained compound fractures and has marked swelling and fracture blisters, surgery may be delayed one week or longer. This delay means the patient is out of work or school longer, and there is a chance the injury may begin to heal incorrectly, causing further complications. The traditional L-shaped incision increases recovery and healing time because more trauma to tissue and muscle has occurred (as seen in the illustration).
The FCC team’s MIS approach provides our patient’s with a superior level of care. This has become the hallmark of the Fracture Care Center’s reputation in the treatment of heel fractures.
Flat Feet Treatment
The Fracture Care Center treats planovalgus (“flat feet”) deformity corrections. In severe cases, the foot’s arch may collapse, causing serious pain and deformities. Surgeons must actually reshape the foot, and/or fuse any deformed joints. Upon completion, the arch of the foot is restored; patients’ insteps can be surgically reshaped, as well.
As these procedures require precise manipulation and care, they should only be performed by orthopaedic surgeons with a specific breadth of experience. The FCC physicians and surgical teams are uniquely qualified to perform these procedures.
For an orthopedic specialist in Orlando qualified in treating heel fractures and other foot treatments, please contact us.
Andy: Jumping Again!
Andy, an avid skydiver, decided to celebrate his birthday by making his 704th jump with several of his friends. Unfortunately on his descent the ground winds became unpredictable and he was forced to land at a nearby golf course. At 20 feet, Andy’s lines went slack and his parachute collapsed. He dropped straight on his heels, shattering them completely.
He sustained fractures in both of his heels, but luckily this was his only major injury. Andy was told by a podiatrist in the emergency room that his heel fractures were the worst he had ever seen. The podiatrist recommended that Andy seek the expertise of Dr. J. Dean Cole, who has vast experience treating heel (calcaneus) fractures.
Shortly after Dr. Cole’s evaluation, Andy underwent surgery to repair his heels. Dr. Cole’s unique minimally invasive approach to this complex procedure successfully repaired the fractures and allowed an earlier return to work for the patient. Within weeks, Andy was able to work part-time as a Veterinarian and within four months after surgery he returned full time.
Only seven and half months later Andy made his 705th skydive!