Heel spur

Feet | Orthopaedics | Heel spur (Disease)


A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth of the bone of the heel (the calcaneus bone). They are attributed to local inflammation at the insertion of soft tissue tendons or fascia in the area. Heel spurs can be located at the back of the heel or under the heel, beneath the sole of the foot.

Major symptoms consist of pain in the region surrounding the spur which typically increases in intensity after prolonged periods of rest. Patients may report heel pain to be more severe when waking up in the morning. Patients may not able to bear weight on the afflicted heel comfortably and exercise that involves running, walking or lifting heavy weight may exacerbate the issue.

Causes and Risk factors

Heel spurs at the back of the heel are frequently associated with inflammation of the Achilles tendon (tendinitis) and cause tenderness and pain at the back of the heel made worse while pushing off the ball of the foot.

An extra portion of bone that arises from the heel and is the attachment of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band in the bottom of the foot that can become inflammed and cause the condition plantar fascitis. About 70% of patients with plantar fascitis have a heel spur but some patients with heel spurs do not experience any discomfort. It is unclear if the heel spur is actually contributing to the pain.

Cases of plantar fasciitis include foot injury, and running on hard, soft, or hilly surfaces.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for plantar fasciitis may include rest, cold compresses, crutches, cushioned heel pads, orthotics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment may include extracorporeal shock wave therapy.

Surgery may be required for severe plantar fascitis. ...