The Reason Cats Shouldn’t Land on their Feet

Most people might say that dogs are the smartest domesticated animal. In most cases I think you would be right. I apologize to you cat enthusiasts, but before you reach for your pitch forks and torches there is something important you should know and be aware of: If you fall from a height, DONT land on your feet like your cat. The integrity of your calcaneus (heel bone) is at risk. The most common cause of a calcaneal fracture is falling from a height and landing directly on your heels.

The forces that your calcaneus will experience are enough to severely fracture it. In many cases it looks like a hand grenade went off within your calcaneus. Let your imagination run wild. Your physician will be putting your heel bone together like humpty dumpty. Thankfully, your physician is better than all the kings horses and all the kings men.

The calcaneus is a very vascular bone and heals really well, but surgical correction is most often required because:

  • The fracture most often involves an articular surface. The most important being the posterior facet of the subtalar joint.
  • The height and width of the calcaneus is altered

What are the main goals of your surgeon when correcting your calcaneal fracture?

  • Restore all articular components
  • Restore the height and width of the calcaneus
  • Keep the heel bone out of a varus attitude
  • Stable fixation

You will definitely be on a non-weight bearing status for some time. The biggest concern is not the healing quality of the bone, but that of the skin.

So the next time you are on a ladder and it starts to fall, remember to land on your head NOT your feet. I do hope you know I am joking.

If you have any foot/ankle need, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886.

Photo Credit: bk images via

Category: Fractures

Tags: Calcaneus, Falling, Fracture, Injury