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Athletic Training

Hard painless knot on both heel bones

04/28/2008

Question:

I am a long distance runner and have been running marathons for about 10 years. I run on average 40 miles a week. I am a 47 year old white male with no major health issues. It appears the tuberosities on both of my calaneus bones have gotten larger over the years. It`s quite noticable when I flex my foot upwards toward my shins. The knots are hard and I can push on them and there isn`t any pain. The issue is they are affecting my running shoe fit and "rub" the inner heal area of my shoes when running. Eventually all my running shoes end up with holes worn in them at the point where the knots rub the heel area. The impact on shoe fit and the rubbing impacts my gait which does produce lots of other issues. Any ideas on the cause and a possible fix or is this just a "deal with it" issue?

Answer:

This is a common problem for distance runners and can be address by adding padding around the area. Take an adhesive piece of padding and make a hole about the size of the tuberosity. Place the pad inside the shoe over the area contacted by the tuberosity when you run. This should relieve the problem. Although the size of the tuberosity may be "normal" for your body, it is important to contact your physician with pain or changes to size and shape of the area.

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Response by:

Angela Justina Beisner, MA, AC Angela Justina Beisner, MA, AC
Athletic Trainer
Department of Athletics Instructor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University