Big Papi David Ortiz of the Red Sox Out With a Heel Injury

My poor beloved Red Sox.  Don't tell anyone, but my Boston roots once again betray me and I must confess my true baseball allegiance as a member of the Red Sox nation.  By this time, I’m more than accustomed to disappointment, and yes, I will continue to forever live in 2004 and 2007.  So while it’s a bit of a drag to hear David Ortiz is out with a heel injury, it’s also an opportunity to talk about the heel a bit more.

This is not a new topic for this blog - we’ve discussed plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, two common heel conditions that I see daily in my NYC podiatry office.  Papi's injury is a little more unique, and apparently more ambiguous.  Plantar fasciitis (heel pain) is almost always painful for the first few steps in the morning and Achilles tendonitis presents a pain in- you guessed it - the Achilles tendon.  Both conditions are detectable by MRI, so it can be a bit confounding to sustain a heel injury that is not readily apparent on MRI.  This is one of those times when we doctors have to diagnose the old fashioned way - using our brains.  And barring a ligament or tendon tear, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or fracture of the heel bone, the most likely diagnosis, by process of elimination, is bursitis.

So what is bursitis?

Let's start with defining normal anatomy.  A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found in many joints in the body, the purpose of which is to cushion the bones and soft tissues.  Some areas of the body, such as the bottom and back of the heel, have a few bursae.  In cases of trauma, either blunt, or repetitive, the bursa itself becomes irritated and inflamed, and that condition is termed bursitis.  The treatment is essentially the same as any other type of inflammation, namely rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, and time.  In refractory cases, an injection of cortisone will safely and effectively accelerate the healing process.  But as I've said before, the body wants to heal; we just have to enable it to do so.  If you are having any kind of heel pain, it’s always better to have it evaluated in the office where it can be seen on X-ray, or diagnostic ultrasound.

And to all my fellow Red Sox fans hiding out in Yankee country, don't worry, Big Papi will be back, and this will heal.  There will also be victories in our future, and likely disappointment too.  Ah, to be in 2007 again.

See you in the office.

Dr. Ernest Isaacson

Author
Ernest Isaacson Dr. Ernest Isaacson is a graduate of the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. After completing two years of comprehensive training in various medical specialties including internal medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery and podiatric medicine, Dr. Isaacson completed a comprehensive one-year podiatric surgical residency. Dr. Isaacson is active in research and publication in basic and clinical science. Dr. Isaacson is also a dedicated family man who enjoys running, reading and spending time with his family.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Should I Get Bunion Surgery?

Here’s a question I get pretty often: why feet?  And I answer, because I love feet. And usually I’ll add a comment about how it’s a good thing I’m not a gastroenterologist or a urologist or something along those lines.

Heal the Heel

Ok kids time for a little word association. Tell me the first thing you think of when I say - plantar fasciitis. If it starts with an F no need to articulate the sentiment, but you might want to read on.

And I Thank You

Shocking, yet not surprising, the year is coming to a close and it’s already time to shop bargains on turkey and squash.

Why You Should Call Your Podiatrist (even after hours)

It’s relatively late at night in the city as I write this, and many of my dear Manhattan podiatry patients may be wondering what it is I’m doing at this late hour, other than filling the annals of this most holy and sacred blog with more consecrated verbia

Heal Thyself

Summer’s over now kids, although if you’re like me summer is just winter with heat. Still, I do get a little pit in my stomach as Labor Day looms large on the calendar and the waning days of summer transform into the crisp breezes of autumn, and other line