Achilles tendon bursitis, or retrocalcaneal bursitis, refers to inflammation or an accumulation of fluid within the retrocalcaneal bursa, a potential space that sits beneath the Achilles tendon but over the calcaneus (back of the heel).


Bursitis of the Achilles tendon is caused by the irritation and inflammation of the retrocalcaneal bursa, a small fluid-filled sac located in the back of the ankle that acts as a cushion and lubricant for the ankle joint.  Retrocalcaneal bursitis often goes along with insertional Achilles tendinopathy.


Difficulty to rise on toes: Standing on your toes or wearing high heels may increase the heel pain.

Inflammation and tenderness: The skin around your heel can become swollen and warm to the touch. Redness may be visible.

Pain in the heel: Pain tends to become more prominent when walking, running, or touching the inflamed area.

Stiffness: The back of your ankle may feel a little stiff due to the swelling of the bursa.


The retrocalcaneal bursa can be drained and occasionally cortisone or a sclerosing agent such as dextrose can be injected with the hope to stop fluid from reaccumulating.  True treatment for this condition will involve identifying and treating the underlying pathology that lead to fluid accumulation.