Tag: heel pain

Managing heel pad atrophy

Heel pain frequently occurs and there are a number of causes of that. Plantar fasciitis is certainly the most common condition and is generally simple to diagnose. However, there are plenty of other reasons that are not as common and are more complicated to diagnose. Among the less frequent causes is a ailment referred to as heel fat pad atrophy. There is a covering of fat under the heel that acts as a cushion and shock absorber while we are walking or running. Usually there's plenty of fat there to provide that shock absorption, but in some individuals it atrophies or wastes away and it may no longer protect the heel with that shock absorption. The reason why it occurs isn't entirely clear, but there is some atrophy of that fat pad with aging and some simply seem to atrophy greater than others quicker. The main signs of fat pad atrophy are increasing pain with weight bearing underneath the heel. Additionally it is crucial that you eliminate other causes since they could exist at the same time.

The primary way to manage heel pad atrophy is to substitute the fat that has wasted away. The easiest way is to use pads in the shoe under the heel, ideally made from a silicone gel that has a similar consistency as the natural fat, since they technically replace the pad which is missing. This commonly handles the majority of cases of this and this is all that needs to be done. The only issue with this method is that you have to wear the pads and you can’t do this when without shoes or in sandals very easily. The only other choice is surgery called augmentation in which some fat is surgically implanted under the heel. The inserted fat can come from another part of the body or may be artificially made in the laboratory. The longer term outcomes of this sort of surgery are not yet known, however early results from the procedure appear good.