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Ohio Foot & Ankle Specialists

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Heel Spur

A bony-like growth on the back of your heel caused by a calcium deposit is known as a heel spur. Heel spurs are common and may extend up to ½ inch. Many people have heel spurs without knowing they have one.  This is because they develop over time, and don’t suddenly appear.

What causes a heel spur?

Long-term muscle and ligament strain lead to stress on the heel bone causing bone to grow in the direction being pulled by the ligaments or tendons.  Heel spurs are generally located at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone. They are also found on the bottom of the heel where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel.  

Some activities and medical conditions can lead to heel spurs. These include:

  • Frequent running or jogging on hard paved surfaces
  • Unusual gait
  • Obesity
  • Wearing shoes without arch support
  • Worn out or poorly fitting shoes
  • Flat feet

Symptoms of a Heel Spur

To accurately diagnose a heel spur, Ohio Foot and Ankle Specialists will use an X-ray to confirm its existence. You may suspect you have a heel spur if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Warm feeling at the site of spur
  • Hard bump under the skin

What happens if you don’t treat a heel spur?

It is in your best interest to try to help the spur heel. Doing nothing is likely to exacerbate the pain from the heel spur.  Fortunately, heel spurs may respond to non-surgical treatments such as:

  • Special exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Over the counter pain medications
  • Custom orthotics
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Taping the feet to reduce strain on ligaments and tendons.

In very severe cases, surgery might be required to remove the spur or release the tendon causing the spur to grow.  Schedule a consultation with Ohio Foot and Ankle Specialists today if you’re dealing with heel pain.