Anyone have issues with their heel bone? - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have issues with their heel bone?

I broke my left heel (calcaneus) 11 years ago and have subtalar arthritis as a result. My ankle gets more and more sore as the day goes on to the point where it eventually feels like nothing is there.

I've started riding switch more to help (i'm regular footed), but am curious if anyone else on the board has gone through this? If so, how have you managed? Did you change your style at all?

At 33, I refuse to let this keep me from riding. But I had a major setback Sunday (couldn't walk after I pulled my boot off), so I feel like it may be time to try something different...other than not snowboarding of course
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 02:14 AM
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right after snowboarding that day the right edge for my inside right heel hurt so bad i thought i fractured it, also hurt to step on it or put on my shoes.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 12:48 AM
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I have never broken anything (possible fractured rib right now, though), but have developed plantar fasciitis in my right heel. I ride regular, so I'm mostly fine when I ride. But whenever I try to practice switch, that's when my heel hurts more and more. I can barely walk at the end of the day. Taking my boot off is a bitch, and after a few hours of driving back... I hop walk. It hurts me to walk for a few days. Obviously, it's worth it.

I go running often enough that if I just don't do switch very much, I'm pretty much fine. I also do my old physical therapy exercises from after I had surgery on my ankle. Do you have any physical therapy exercises you can do to help with the pain?

Can you describe more what the pain feels like, and where? If it's similarish, I can share what I do to help.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:42 AM
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A little over 13 years ago I got hit by a car, snapped my left shin in half. I have a rod that runs the length of my shin inside the big bone. (they took my knee apart and drilled all the way down to my ankle) When I first got my own gear, I got some very stiff older Vans (Hi-standard) at the end of the day, my left ankle (I'm goofy) would kill, I think that super stiff boot was wearing out my weak ankle. I switched to Nitro Anthems this year and the problem has almost completely disappeared. These are very soft boots, and took me awhile to get used to the lag in response vs. the stiffer boots. It was really no big deal after a few runs, and the lack of major pain at the end of the day is wonderful. Softer boots may help, or something like super feet inserts to cushion the heel better.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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...Can you describe more what the pain feels like, and where? If it's similarish, I can share what I do to help.
I would say it's' as if there is loss of support inside and under the front of the ankle/top of the heel. The pain starts as soreness but will progress to stabbing if I let it go long enough. Eventually it gets to the point where it doesn't feel like I have a heel at all. I'd say the end result is similar but my ankle tends to swell just below the ankle bone, since I broke the heel at the top.

I never had proper PT after this happened. I was a senior in college and the doctors didn't seem too concerned with rehab (surprisingly). I've noticed my ankle can roll easily so I've been trying to work more on my balance with that foot lately.

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...Softer boots may help, or something like super feet inserts to cushion the heel better.
That's an interesting idea. You'd think less support would make it hurt more.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:09 AM
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If you already have subtalar joint arthritis you might want to consider having that joint surgically fused.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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If you already have subtalar joint arthritis you might want to consider having that joint surgically fused.
They did mention this as a possible need after it happened. It seems like sort of a last-resort procedure though. Do you know anyone who has need it?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:20 AM
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They did mention this as a possible need after it happened. It seems like sort of a last-resort procedure though. Do you know anyone who has need it?
Yes, several people. Recovery is a bit long and arduous but once everything is all healed the pain from the joint is gone (because the joint is gone). Functional limitations include difficulty walking on uneven terrain since you lost the side-to-side motion from the ST joint. I would try the footwear changes first.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 02:20 PM
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That's an interesting idea. You'd think less support would make it hurt more.
In your case I'm not sure, in my case it worked, two different things really. The thing is, since my leg was snapped in half (compound fracture and all) there was extensive tendon and muscle damage, I guess having your lower leg swinging around by the meat does that

I think with the softer boots there is less resistance to flex that doesn't work my lower leg/ankle near as hard. Have you tried any inserts to cushion the impacts? They also make wedges designed to reduce heel lift, might give those a shot. Obviously I'm not a Dr. I'm a construction guy so the only "real" advise I can legally dispense is "Duct tape that bad boy up and git r done"

Other then that I'd say see a real Doc.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 03:03 PM
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Did the fracture go into the joint?

Joint fusion is like absolute last resort, because they don't work very often. And if they get rid of the local pain, they'll usually cause other problems like knee or hip pain.

Cartilage needs movement in order to get the nutrients it needs, so get your foot mobilized everyday. Put it in hot water and get someone to pull on your heel and do like figure 8s on the joint.
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