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Posterior adventitial heel bursitis N044

Last amended 
9 May 2019
Current RMA Instruments

Reasonable Hypothesis SOP

47 of 2019

Balance of Probabilities SOP

48 of 2019

Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 208

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Code: 726.79
  • ICD-10-AM Code: M76.7
Brief description

Posterior adventitial heel bursitis is inflammation of the superficial bursa (a thin sac of fluid), just under the skin, at the back of the heel. The condition is also known by several other names (see below).

Confirming the diagnosis

The condition needs to be distinguished from other forms of bursitis around the heel, particularly retrocalcaneal bursitis, which involves a bursa deep to the achilles tendon.  The diagnosis is made based on the history and findings on examination and can be made by a treating GP. 

The relevant medical specialist is an orthopaedic surgeon.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • calcaneal tendon bursitis 
  • retro-Achilles bursitis 
  • posterior Achilles tendon bursitis
  • subcutaneous calcaneal bursitis 
  • superficial Achilles bursitis 
  • superficial calcaneal bursitis 
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Achilles peritendonitis
  • retrocalcaneal bursitis* - Achilles tendinopathy and bursitis SOP
  • Plantar calcaneal bursitis#

* another SOP applies

# non-SOP condition

Clinical onset

The condition usually presents with pain, tenderness and swelling over the back of the heel. 

Clinical worsening

Worsening would be assessed on clinical grounds (symptoms and findings on examination).