A bursa is a pouch (bag) that surrounds the tendons of muscles. Inside this bag is filled with a special fluid called synovial. Thanks to this structure, the load on the tendons when walking is mitigated.
On the heel, the tendon is called Achilles. It is also surrounded by such bags of fluid, on the side of the heel bone and skin. When an infection gets into such a synovial sac, an inflammatory process occurs that is called heel bursitis.
Such a disease can be of different progress:
The main causes of bursitis are injuries of the foot, in particular the heel. When an injury occurs, fluid begins to form in the synovial sac. It is called exudate. Also, blood enters the cavity of this bag from damaged vessels. Fibrin, appearing in this exudate, glues capillaries. Thus, a dense connective tissue begins to form on the wall of the bag, due to which the bursitis cavity hardens.
- Mechanical. Inconvenient shoes act as such a cause. Inflammation of the heel is more common in the fair half, as the beloved very high heel puts the foot in an unnatural and uncomfortable position. Because of this, the synovial sac is deformed and an inflammatory process occurs.
- Infectious. In case of infection through cracks and abrasions, as well as other skin lesions, the synovial sacs become inflamed. The reason is various bacteria. Also, these microbes can enter from the inside through the lymphatic system with erysipelas, osteomyelitis, boils.
Symptoms of bursitis appear gradually. Initially, a swelling appears in the heel area. In the place where the tendon is attached to the bone, puffiness and redness of the skin occur. In this area, the temperature rises, it becomes hot to the touch. Pain symptoms occur in the area of tissue inflammation. They intensify when walking, and when you step on the heel. Such an inflammatory process can spread to the calcaneus and cause calcaneus bursitis.
The acute form of bursitis is inherent in people involved in professional sports. At this stage of the disease, the sacs are filled with specific secretions (serous exudate) from small blood vessels. If microbes get into this liquid, a purulent process occurs. The pathology of suppuration can spread to nearby tissues, which may cause their necrosis. The advanced stage of the disease is characterized by symptoms of non-healing fistulas. If pus enters the joint cavity, purulent arthritis may occur.
Traumatic heel bursitis is characterized by the accumulation of blood and plasma in deformed bags. There is a thickening of the walls and their growth. In the subacute period of the disease, exudate may remain, which in the future will cause a relapse of bursitis.
If the disease is not treated, then it (acute form) becomes chronic. Also, the cause of a chronic inflammatory process is the mechanism of prolonged heel irritation.
With this pathological process, joint mobility begins to be limited. The walls of the tendons and the bag, which is located near the ligaments, thicken. The formation of calcium deposits is also a symptom of the disease. A growth in the form of a cone appears on the heel. It is visible with an advanced stage of bursitis. It causes discomfort and interferes with wearing shoes. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor on time in order to prevent such a neglected pathology.
Disease Control Methods
For proper treatment, it is necessary to establish the specificity of the disease and the causative agent of the disease. To do this, take the contents of the peri-ligamentous sac for analysis and conduct research. The doctor takes into account the patient’s history and symptoms to clarify the diagnosis.
With bursitis, unlike arthritis, joint mobility persists. To determine the diagnosis using the palpation method. By pressing and probing the area of damage is determined. To clarify the diagnosis, an X-ray examination is used. This method is important in the diagnosis of deep bursitis, and with subcutaneous form serves to clarify the disease. A study of fluid taken from bursitis is performed to exclude other diagnoses.
Bursitis treatment consists of resting the leg and applying a tight bandage. These methods are effective in the early stages of the disease in acute form. Warming compresses are also applied to the sore spot. It is important to start treatment in time to prevent the transition of the serous form to the purulent stage.
In the hospital, a course of physiotherapeutic procedures is prescribed. In the chronic stage, diseases with relapses puncture the site of accumulation of exudate and remove it. In this case, the pocket is treated with antiseptic drugs and antibiotics. It is important how strong the immune system is in humans. With timely access to a doctor, the chances of a quicker recovery will increase.
Treatment includes traditional medicine recipes.
- The treatment consists in foot baths. For this, a decoction of needles is prepared. The needles are soaked in cold water and boiled. A sore foot falls into a hot broth and is steamed.
- Trays with hay dust. A decoction is prepared from the grass, mixed with boiled water. In this solution, it is necessary to keep a sore foot for 30 minutes.
- It is necessary to prepare a mixture of honey (2 parts), vodka (3 parts) and aloe juice (1 part). It is used as a compress on the heel.
- Mix the butter (150 grams) and propolis (15 grams). This remedy is taken 1 teaspoon inside on an empty stomach three times a day.
Shoes should be comfortable. It should not cause discomfort when walking. Periodically, gymnastics for the feet is recommended. Received injuries with wounds need to be treated with disinfectant solutions.
To prevent bursitis, it is necessary to avoid injuries and heavy loads on the muscles and tendons of the heel, if possible. An elastic bandage dressing is also recommended.
If preventive measures are observed and if symptoms of bursitis appear, consult a doctor, then surgical intervention can be avoided.
Surgery is indicated in the following cases:
- chronic process with unsuccessful conservative treatment;
- acute purulent bursitis;
- the presence of fistulas;
- traumatic injuries in which damage to the cavity of the bag occurs.
During surgery, they can remove the synovial sac, excise the membrane of the bag or pump out the fluid (puncture). After the operation, the person undergoes rehabilitation treatment. The limb is immobilized for two weeks. Preventive measures are being taken to prevent blood clots. The dressing is changed daily. Loads are introduced gradually on the foot. In the fourth week after surgery, the leg can already be loaded as much as possible.