Logo: Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists

Skin-Heel Fissures

A fissure is a crack in the skin in combination with a thick formation of skin layers (callus) commonly found on ball of the foot, heel, sides of the foot. Fissures are caused by excessive pressure combined with the thick skin, and open shoe gear. A large majority of our patients get fissures when wearing rubber or leather sandals in the summer. This is caused mostly by an inflammation and swelling in the skin because those materials have been linked with an irritation reaction from direct contact with the skin.


These fissures can deepen on the outer surface of the skin or can go deeper causing bleeding or infection. Pain ranges from dull to sharp depending upon the level of irritation and compression of the nerves that are around these areas.

Skin- Heel Fissures



Arch Support:


Anti-inflammatory medication (Eg. Ibuprofen, Naprosyn) aspirin products, and Acetaminophen can help with the chronic pain, but are not much help with the acute pain


Temporary arch supports or custom molded orthotics can minimize the pressure on the spur or correct the foot position causing the pressure. These devices are good solution for long term treatment with or without surgical intervention.


Reduction by either professional sharp debridement (shaving) or consistent filing will give temporary relief. Use caution with over the counter callus removal medication or pads. The medication is a type of acid that can cause an ulceration or infection if not used properly or in excess.


The bone structure causing the pressure is either remodeled and smoothed down or repositioned. Depending on the location or severity, the skin lesion or callus itself is removed during the procedure or it will naturally fall off 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery. Incisions are minimal and vary in size (average 1.5cm to 3/4 inch). Sutures are removed at 2 weeks.


The procedure is performed at an outpatient facility under sedation. Partial weight bearing is allowed after 48 to 72 hours of non weight bearing if the bone is remodeled or partial weight bearing is allowed after 1 to 3 weeks of non weight bearing with crutches if the bone is repositioned.


Talk to an expert

Our doctors have extended specialist medical training focused on the foot, ankle and lower leg.   We are board-certified surgeons and experts in delivering care for complex foot and ankle disorders as well as cosmetic or reconstructive procedures and problems related to sports injuries and other medical conditions.

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