Heel Fat Pad Injury

What is Heel Fat Pad injury?

This plantar heel fat pad is an area of dense adipose tissue underneath the heel. It provides shock absorption and cushioning for the heel.

Injury to the plantar heel fat pad can occur with sudden blow (acute injury) or with repeated trauma to the area (chronic injury)


What Causes Heel Fat Injury?

This problem typically occurs from trauma or a period of sudden increased pressure on the heel. This causes irritation to the plantar heel fat pad.

Certain factors are though to increase the risk for the development of Heel Fat Pad Injury including:

  • Non- Supportive footwear
  • High arched feet
  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Trauma
  • Being overweight
  • Connective tissue disorders (Rheumatoid arthritis)


Diagnosis of Heel Fat Pad Injury

Diagnosis is generally made with specific signs and symptoms – when the pain occurs and the location.

At the Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre we are able to provide additional information about the presence of  Heel Fat Pad Injury with ultrasound imaging.  Imaging of the heel usually shoes a  disruption to the normal plantar fat pad (see the smaller arrows on the right heel in the image below).

Heel fat pad irritation


Treatment of Heel Fat Pad Injury

This problem resolves slowly. To minimise the pain options include:

– Gel heel cups to offload the heel

– A more supportive shoe

-Reducing the trauma to the fat pad

– Taping the heel to stop the fat from displacing outwards (creating more cushioning)

– Orthotics to support and offload the heel



The Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre’s Northcote Podiatrists can help you with all lower limb complaints, including Heel Fat Pad Injury. Make an appointment to get your foot and ankle pain under control.

Expert Podiatrists for the treatment of Heel Fat Pad Injury servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston

Call The Ankle and Foot Centre in Northcote for further advice on professional management and treatment options.