Fat Pad Atrophy

By:  Robert H. Sheinberg, D.P.M., D.A.B.F.A.S., F.A.C.F.A.S.

The fat pad beneath the heel helps to absorb shock during walking or running. People who lose the shock absorbent capacity of the heel will complain of pain on the bottom of the heel with prolonged standing or walking. The condition may occur from trauma (heel fracture) or from aging. Treatment with Orthotics with Shock Absorbing Materials and Proper Shoe Gear is the best treatment. 

The heel fat pad has a specialized anatomy with small chambers of adipose tissue divided by fibrous septae.

Fat Pad Atrophy can occur in the metatarsal area of the foot or heel. It is the thinning or decreased size of the fat pad that serves as a natural cushion for the foot. Feet with little or no fat pad at the bottom will experience more pain

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