Cortisone Shot for Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

Hi everyone.

I was diagnosed with a bad case of retrocalcaneal bursitis, but the ultrasound showed that my Achilles tendon and insertion were perfectly intact. Given the relatively isolated involvement of the bursa, my sports doc recommended an ultrasound-guided cortisone injection into the bursa to relieve the pain (it was really bad, I was having difficult walking normally and it altered my gait over the past 2 weeks). I was actually building back up from a previous injury and had been running for 8 weeks before the bursitis flared up. I'm guessing it was because I was bumping it up a bit too quickly.

Really disappointed that I have to take another few weeks off running after the injection but I'd like to ask whether anyone has had a cortisone shot in this area and what are the recommendations for post-treatment care? My sports doc said not to run for the next few weeks but I could do some pool running.

What other cross-training do you think is possible? Before the injection and when I had the bursitis I could cycle and use the elliptical with absolutely no pain if I kept my feet flat and anchored on the pedals but as soon as I got off and tried to walk, the stabbing pain in my heel came back. I've read that there is an increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture in the period after the injection if one starts activity too intensely. When do you think it's safe to start biking and using the elliptical again after getting the shot?

Thanks - any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


  • I nordic walk on a regular basis Sarah, theres less impact on the joints than running and you burn more calories than walking at the same speed.

    It all depends on where the pain is really and I would have to have  a look. I would give it 14 days after the injection at least. Steroid injections really only kick in after two weeks then the effects wear off up to 1 month. So really give it 2 weeks to 1 month.

    The next option for you would be shockwave therapy.

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