Ultrasound-Guided Minimally Invasive Surgical Resection of Retrocalcaneal Bursitis: A Preliminary Comparison With Traditional Open Surgery

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2019 Sep;58(5):855-860. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2018.12.023. Epub 2019 Jul 23.


Posterior heel pain is a common complaint that is often caused by overuse injuries. In such cases, the retrocalcaneal bursa is compressed and chafed repeatedly, leading to local inflammation. Sonography is a popular imaging tool used to study the pathology of soft tissues, and it can be used to assist in diagnosing bursitis because of its accuracy. Herein, we report an innovative method to treat retrocalcaneal bursitis under ultrasound guidance. Ten patients with posterior heel pain for >6 months who failed conservative treatment received this ultrasound-guided minimally invasive surgery. An endoscopic puncher and burr were inserted under ultrasound guidance via a stabbing wound, and the swollen retrocalcaneal bursa and bony prominence were resected. The patients were able to ambulate and undergo a rehabilitation program 2 weeks postoperatively. In the patients who underwent this ultrasound-guided minimally invasive surgery, both the average surgical time and average hospital stay were shorter than in those (n = 12) who underwent open surgery. In outcome rating assessment, the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) pain score and total AOFAS ankle-hindfoot score were improved in the ultrasound-guided minimally invasive surgery group compared to the open surgery group at 2 months postoperatively. Other advantages included lesser wound pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery time, and minimal blood loss. Accordingly, ultrasound-guided surgery appears to be a good option for the treatment of retrocalcaneal bursitis.

Keywords: Achilles tendon; bursectomy; retrocalcaneal bursitis; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint*
  • Bursitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bursitis / surgery*
  • Calcaneus*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*