Like the Splattering of an Uncooked Egg

Sometimes a good deed doesn't go unpunished, particularly if that good deed involves climbing a ladder and working several feet off of the ground. One of the more problematic orthopaedic injuries is a fracture of the calcaneus or heel. This injury is generally seen when an individual falls straight down from a height onto his heels. The result is usually a fracture of the calcaneus (heel bone). Unlike a fracture of other bones of the body which are commonly casted or manipulated into position and then casted, fractures of the calcaneus frequently require surgical fixation and an extended period of recovery.

Fracturing the calcaneus is a lot like breaking an egg. The significant impact of a fall from a height causes the calcaneus bone to shatter, much like an egg dropped from a counter top. The skilled orthopaedic surgeon must carefully re-align and attempt to piece back together the shattered heel. The patient is then required to be non weight-bearing fro a period of ten weeks while the fracture heals. A frequent surgical complication is difficulty with wound healing where the lengthy incision made at the outside of the heel is poorly supplied by blood vessels. Arthritis commonly develops over the years in the injured heel, but operative repair helps to mitigate the possibility. It's little wonder that those working in the field of orthopaedics develop a healthy respect for ladders and heights.