Bone spurs are not the kind of spurs that go jingle jangle jingle. They are more like ouch, ooch, achk.
Bone spurs are small outgrowths of bone. They usually grow in response to an inflammation. The inflammation causes the bone producing cells to respond and deposit bone in the area of inflammation. Bone spurs can be found in the heel, the spine, the knee or the shoulder.
I bet you guessed that we will be talking about bone spurs that affect the feet, right? Yes, we are going to talk about two spots where bone spurs affect the feet. Both spots are in the heel of the foot. One is the bone spur that can grow on the back of the heel bone as a reaction to Achilles tendonitis and the other is the bone spur that can occur more on the inside of the heel bone. The second type of bone spur is formed when someone has plantar fasciitis.
How can I tell if I have a bone spur?
Bone spurs are found when your foot is x rayed. They are easy to see as you can tell from the pictures. Interestingly, bone spurs do not always cause problems. You can have bone spurs and not know it because they are not irritating the surrounding tissues. It is when they are causing irritation that you notice and go to visit your friendly local podiatrist. Also, there is no way to prevent the growth of bone spurs.
What is the treatment for bone spurs?
A bone spur is not treated in isolation. The bone spur was formed because of either Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. Therefore you want to treat those conditions and then hopefully the irritation from the spur will stop. Your friendly local podiatrist will probably suggest the use of an over the counter pain relief medicine for the immediate pain. It is very possible that you could be fitted for an orthotic. The orthotic will help to hold your foot in place so that the tendon can start to heal. (Yes, you want to heal your heel.) Also it is very possible that either the doctor will show you a series of exercises to do to help or you might go to physical therapy so that you are not only given exercises but also some other therapy for your foot.
Great, I thought I would need surgery…
In most cases you will not need surgery. There are conditions that will warrant surgery to repair the tendon or ligament and in some cases remove the bone spur but with conservative treatment, most pain will stop. Of course, you need to follow up and with the conservative treatment plan. (I may have said that because I am not always good at that but I want you to “do as I say not as I do”.)
The end of the year is really coming fast. It is a great time to get those treatments that you have been postponing taken care of before your new deductible kicks in. Make an appointment now to get your toe fungus treated so that you are ready for summer! Time to get that bunion fixed so that you can wear those cute shoes again.