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If there's a fracture at most bottom part of calcaneous bone and heals later, then would there only be decrease in height ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 170 Questions
Dear Doctor, (continued from my last question)
If there's a fracture (including hairline fracture) at the most bottom part of my calcaneous bone and after it heals, then there would only be a DECREASE in height when I stand up and measure, right? If there's any change, then maybe it is possible to decrease by 0.1mm but never increase by ANY number, right (ZERO - 0.0 change)?
Posted Sat, 14 Jul 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Follow-up: If there's a fracture at most bottom part of calcaneous bone and heals later, then would there only be decrease in height ? 28 minutes later
Thank you so much for your patience and cooperation doctor. I truly appreciate your help.

1. Does it matter whether the bone is fractured vertically or horizontally?
2. When the fractured line disappears and is completely healed, it means they have completely attached together right? It is impossible to make the bone grow bigger or longer right? 0.0mm increase right?

Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 2 hours later
Thanks for writing back to us. We value your association.

Thank you so much for attaching the image, I understand the situation completely.

1. Yes, it matters. The pattern of the fracture determines the treatment as well as the outcome of the healing. You must have already noticed on the internet that there are various forms of fractures in calcaneum and so are the treatments.

2. The fracture heals when
a. Symptomatically the patient is painfree, able to walk painlessly, does not suffer any pain at rest and
b. There are radiological (x rays/mri) proof of union.

There onwards the bone neither shrinks nor grows. If there are signs of hypertrophic union where in even after union the bone continues to grow out, it might result in lengthening (especially the part where you have show on your image). The soft bone that develops at fracture site is called 'callus'. It later converts into hard bone.

The chances of such instances are rare. Hope this answers your query, and again I invite you to further discussion if you please.
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