Under the plantar surface of the rearfoot is a fat pad that naturally cushions us and guards the heel as we walk. When walking, there is a pressure equal to approximatly 2.5 times body weight on the rearfoot during heel strike, therefore it should be no surprise that we require that fat pad. Not having that fat pad there would most likely be inadequate shock reduction which could lead to several problems because of that inadequate shock absorption. The most common is just pain beneath the heel bone. The pain sensation will mostly show up on standing instead of so much on palpation. It isn't really a frequent reason for heel pain, but it is a significant reason as it can often be mistaken for plantar fasciitis and other reasons. Typically it is straightforward to identify as there is just not any cushioning under the rearfoot and you can easily feel the calcaneus.
The causes of fat pad atrophy are not completely obvious. The fat pad does waste away as we grow older normally and in some it simply wastes away more at a faster rate. Many people simply seem to develop this yet others usually do not. It's not linked to bodyweight problems. It might occur in some rheumatological disorders and runners because of the many years of pounding on the heel may perhaps be at a greater risk for fat pad atrophy. People with a higher arch foot (pes cavus) can also get a displacement of the fat pad which will make a similar problem to the atrophy.
The only method to manage fat pad atrophy is usually to replace the fat or substitute for the fat. This can be inserted in operatively or a cushioning heel pad in the footwear used that features a equivalent consistency to the atrophied fat pad. Cushioned footwear could also be used with or without extra cushioning. Operatively this can be an injectable fillers or perhaps an autograft utilizing your own fat cells.