Heel Spurs

Heel Spurs can be confused with heel pain. Find out more.

Heel spurs are commonly associated with heel pain and plantar fasciitis. The can be seen on X-ray as a small spur, spike shaped bony growth that originates from the bottom from of the heel bone and they are often blamed for causing pain. This is often not the case. 

Approximately 50 percent of patients with Plantar Fasciitis have heel spurs, but they are most often an incidental finding and do not correlate well with the patient's symptoms. “You can often evaluate a patient’s X-Ray for a different type of problem and notice a significant heel spur.  After questioning, the patient often explains the spur, or their heel, has never caused them pain”.

Spur Signs and Symptoms

Calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone, causing Heel Spurs. This is a process that can take place over several months and can be caused by strains and stretching on the muscles and ligaments surrounding the foot. Heel spurs are very common among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping.

Bone spurs can be diagnosed by X-ray investigation and evaluation. In some cases, large heel spurs can be palpated by touching the effected portion of the heel, or when the heel presents with a reduced fibro-fatty padding over lying the bone growth. In cases where the heel spur is causing pain the patient will normally explain pain during walking rather than after rest pain and the heel spur faces downwards, towards to ground rather than in most case parallel to the ground on an X-ray investigation.

If the removal of the heel spur is required, Mr Edwards is able to utilise intra-operative Fluoroscopic technology to guild precise removal of the offending tissue via minimal incision.

You may require crutches for a few days after surgery. The foot will remain tender for several days. The incision is protected with a bandage or dressing for about one week after surgery. The sutures are generally removed in 4 weeks . However, Mr Edwards often utilises  sutures that dissolve, you won't need to have these taken out.

There seems to bit little evidence as to the exact cause of heel spurs other than a mechanical onset directly caused by excessive traction forces associated with excessive pronation (rolling in of the foot / ankle) or reduced range of motion (ROM) at the ankle joint or posterior muscles of the lower limb, (Triceps Surae).

Changes in life, work, increased weight, trauma and hormonal changes have also been statistically associated with the formation of heel spurs.

It is generally accepted that functional footwear, regular exercise that includes an effective stretching regime of the lower limb can all contribute to avoiding the formation of heel spurs however, we do see them it the fittest of individuals who wear appropriate footwear.

For further advice or to make an appointment, please contact one of our professional team, our numbers and contact details are listed on the Contact page.