A bursa is a fluid-filled sac. There are hundreds of deep and superficial bursae throughout the human body. They are typically located near major joints. Bursae are situated between bone and soft
tissues like tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin. They serve as a cushioning pad to absorb shock. The fluid within the sac is secreted to assist with friction-free movement as the soft tissues move
across a bony area.
Although rare, bursitis also may be caused by an infection, known as septic bursitis. This is a serious medical condition that requires antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent its spread to
other points in the body or the bloodstream. Septic bursitis may cause the back of the ankle to become red or hot. The person may also get the chills or fever and may feel sick and tired. Typically
this type of bursitis would be suspected if there has been any history of an open wound in the area, such as a blister.
Below is a list of common signs and symptoms of retrocalcaneal bursitis. Recognizing and treating symptoms early can prevent retrocalcaneal bursitis from becoming chronic. Swelling. The
retrocalcaneal bursa is located behind the Achilles tendon, just above where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. When the bursa is inflamed it will cause visible soft tissue swelling near the top
of the heel bone. It is worth noting that bursitis of the retroachilles bursa, which is located between the Achilles tendon and skin, can manifest slightly differently: swelling may be more distinct,
appearing as a hard lump behind the heel. Retroachilles bursitis is also more likely than retrocalcaneal bursitis to cause the skin at the back of the heel to turn red.
A physical examination will be performed to determine if you have any signs of Achilles Bursitis or other ankle injury. He/she will look and feel the soft tissue and bones in your ankles to note any
differences between the two of them. This will identify any abnormalities, such as swelling, bone deformities, atrophied muscles, redness and/or warmth on the skin. In many cases, the first sign that
you have Achilles bursitis is swelling in the back of the foot and ankle pain.
Non Surgical Treatment
Home treatment is often enough to reduce pain and let the bursa heal. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around your joints. Rest the affected area. Avoid any activity
or direct pressure that may cause pain. Apply ice or cold packs as soon as you notice pain in your muscles or near a joint. Apply ice 10 to 15 minutes at a time, as often as twice an hour, for 3 days
(72 hours). You can try heat, or alternating heat and ice, after the first 72 hours. Use pain relievers. Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce
pain and inflammation. NSAIDs come in pills and also in a cream that you rub over the sore area. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can also help with pain. Don't rely on medicine to relieve pain so
that you can keep overusing the joint. Do range-of-motion exercises each day. If your bursitis is in or near a joint, gently move the joint through its full range of motion, even during the time that
you are resting the joint area. This will prevent stiffness. As the pain goes away, add other exercises to strengthen the muscles around your joint. Avoid tobacco smoke.Smoking delays wound and
tissue healing. If you have severe bursitis, your doctor may use a needle to remove extra fluid from the bursa. You might wear a pressure bandage on the area. Your doctor may also give you a shot of
medicine to reduce swelling. Some people need surgery to drain or remove the bursa. Sometimes the fluid in the bursa can get infected. If this happens, you may need antibiotics. Bursitis is likely to
improve in a few days or weeks if you rest and treat the affected area. But it may return if you don't stretch and strengthen the muscles around the joint and change the way you do some
People can lower the risk of bursitis by gradually strengthening and stretching the muscles around the joints and taking regular breaks from repetitive motion that might irritate bursae. Prolonged
time resting on the elbows or kneeling should be avoided, if it cannot be avoided, wearing cushioned elbow and knee pads can help protect the bursae. Comfortable, supportive, low-heeled shoes can
help prevent bursitis in the foot.