Eli Manning’s Heel Pain

Heel X-ray Eli Manning, quarterback for the New York Giants, dropped to the ground after completing a pass early in the 4th quarter of yesterday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He stayed in for one more play and then left the game. Although an MRI is not scheduled, it may come at a later date, depending on the diagnosis and update by the team physician. (Update 10/8).

The team reported that Eli initially thought he may have suffered an Achilles tendon injury, but this was ruled out after he was able to stay in for another play. Currently, the team is calling the injury a “bruised heel” or a “bone bruise.” The technical name for a bone bruise is periostitis. Periostitis is the inflammation of the thin connective tissue layer which surrounds the bone. Direct trauma can cause periostitis, although the way Manning planted his foot did not appear to be an usual source of trauma. Another possible cause for acute plantar heel pain is a rupture of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a long ligament type structure which extends from the heel bone to the toes, helping to support the arch. It’s possible for the plantar fascia to rupture when undue stress is placed upon it, this generally occurs at it’s origin on the heel bone. This is an uncommon injury and when it does occur, it’s more likely to occur in individuals who have had chronic problems with the plantar fascia. A stress fracture is another possibility, but also unlikely. A stress fracture is an incomplete break in the bone and usually occurs in individuals with osteoporosis. A young athlete is an unlikely to sustain a stress fracture. A full break, called a calcaneal fracture, only occurs with significant trauma and is usually associated with a fall from a height. This type of injury would only be seen in this circumstance if there was a weakness of the heel bone. A bone cyst or a benign bone tumor may not be a source of pain or discomfort and not diagnosed until a fracture occurs. In this case, it would be obvious on X-ray and would be a significant source of pain, bruising and swelling. Individuals with an existing bone spur can fracture the spur with physical activity. This injury would not cause as much pain as a full break of the heel bone, but would cause swelling and bruising and would be apparent on X-ray.

October 8th Update on Eli Manning’s Heel Pain.

More information on causes of heel pain.


One Response to “Eli Manning’s Heel Pain”

  1. on 13 Oct 2009 at 4:54 pm DallasDude

    Great writeup… as a Cowboys fan this could be a good thing, although I not rooting for anyone to get injured.

    He looked pretty silly on that play. I guess it goes to show how painful it is.


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