Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

What is the Achilles Retrocalcaneal Bursa?

The Achilles is the tendon that attaches the muscles of the gastrocneumius (calf) and soleus to the back of the calcaneus (heel). The bursa is a fluid filled sack that lies between the Achilles tendon and the calcaneus. It forms part of the “Achilles Enthesis Organ”


What is Retrocalcaneal Buritis?

Retrocalcaneal bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa that lies deep to the Achilles.

People with this problem generally present with pain when first getting out of bed which reduces slightly after walking a short distance and then returns again with extended walking.


Causes of Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

Certain factors are though to increased the irritation of the retrocalcaneal bursa

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

Diagnosis of Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

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 retrocalcaneal bursitis with ultrasound imaging.

Inflammation of the bursa presents as an enlargement of the retrocalaneal bursa (see below)


Treatment of Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

Treatment aims to reduce the disorganisation of the connective tissue in the Achilles tendon and also minimise the risk factors for re-injury. This can include

  • Shockwave therapy
  • Injection therapy (aspiration, injectables)
  • Heel raises
  • Orthotic correction
  • Stretching Alfredson Eccentric Stretches
  • Taping
  • Home Massage techniques
  • Night Splinting


What else could it be? (differential diagnosis)

Other problems that can cause similar pain to a neuroma include:

Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy

Midportion Achilles Tendinopathy

Kagers Fat Pad Inflammation

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction



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

Expert Podiatrists and Orthotists in the treatment of Achilles problems servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston

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