Traumatic Heel Pad Avulsion in a Pediatric Patient

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 24 Aug 2021 CASE REPORT DOI: 10.2174/1874325002115010041



Heel pad injuries can have devastating and debilitating consequences. All efforts to primarily reapproximate the heel pad should be undertaken. Reconstruction of the heel pad can often require multiple complex surgeries including microvascular flaps and tissue transfers. There is a paucity of successful techniques for primary repair in the literature.

Case Presentation:

In this case report, we describe the successful use of polydioxanone suture with sterile buttons for the repair of the heel pad in a pediatric patient. An 8-year-old male was struck by a vehicle, sustaining a full-thickness heel pad avulsion injury measuring approximately 16-cm in length. The soft tissue was sharply debrided and repaired primarily to the calcaneal periosteum using #1 polydioxanone suture with external suture buttons, and an incisional wound VAC was applied. He was placed into a long-leg bent knee cast and kept non-weight bearing for a total of 6 weeks, at which time the suture and buttons were removed and he was progressed to weight bearing as tolerated in a walking boot. At the 6-month follow-up examination, the heel pad was viable and well-fixed; the patient reported no pain and was not limited in any chosen activities.


This construct was shown to provide effective fixation while mitigating reported concerns of tissue necrosis caused by suture repair. At 1 year from injury, the patient’s mother noted a slight limp with running but not with walking. He reported no pain at any time, and his Oxford Ankle-Foot Questionnaire for Children score was 58, indicating excellent patient-reported outcome following his procedures.

Key words: Heel pad, Avulsion, Suture, Repair, Pediatric, Polydioxanone, Case report.
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