Entesophyte: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment

The enthesophyte is an inflammation that arises where the tendon inserts into the bone, occurring more frequently in the heel, in people who suffer from diseases such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout.

The heel enthesophyte, also called calcaneal enthesopathy, can cause symptoms such as swelling, stiffness and pain in the heel, especially when supporting the foot on the floor and walking, which can become more intense when the person spends a lot of time standing.

Heel pain caused by the enthesophyte can be relieved with the use of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, stretching exercises, physical therapy and, in some more serious cases, surgery.

Possible causes

The emergence of the enthesophyte is more common in people suffering from diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout.

However, although it is more rare, the enthesophyte can also appear in people who suffer from obesity, due to the pressure exerted on the joints, in people who use certain joints a lot or as a result of an injury during the practice of physical exercise.

What symptoms

Symptoms caused by the entesophyte are difficulty walking, due to swelling and stiffness in the area and pain in the heel, which usually intensifies when the person is standing for a long time, or has a great impact on the heel, such as during jumping or running.

What is the diagnosis

The diagnosis is made by the doctor and consists of assessing the symptoms reported by the person and observing where the person feels pain. In addition, an X-ray, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging may also be required.

How the treatment is done

Treatment usually consists of resting the affected limb and taking the analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by the orthopedist, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, for example, and in some cases it is necessary to administer injections of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. In addition, it can indicate the performance of stretching exercises, which must be guided by a physical therapist.

If the enthesophyte is the result of an autoimmune disease, such as psoriatic arthritis, for example, it may be necessary to control the disease with immunosuppressants. Learn more about psoriatic arthritis and see what the treatment consists of.

In cases where the injury is very serious and does not relieve with medication administration, it may be necessary to perform surgery, which consists of replacing the affected joint and inserting a prosthesis.