A heel spur is a bony growth that usually forms when the plantar fascia – which is the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes – separates from the heel bone and therefore causes inflammation, as the bone lacks full cushioning in that area. The spur may not cause any symptoms, but for most people it does cause sharp pain or a chronic dull ache in the foot.
A heel spur is diagnosed using image-guided tools that detect the spur and determine its size and shape. Treatment may be nonsurgical, surgical, or both, depending on its severity. Let’s talk about the various treatments for heel spurs and who you can talk to in order to find out more about treating your foot pain.
How Can Heel Spurs Be Corrected Without Surgery?
Conservative, nonsurgical methods for treating heel spurs include:
- Heat/cold therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Custom orthotics
- Weight loss
- Corticosteroid injections
- Shock wave therapy
- Physical therapy
A foot and ankle surgeon can provide you with custom-made orthotics that accommodate your specific foot type and shape, addressing issues like heel spurs. Once pressure is alleviated from the area of the foot under the heel spur, the spur may eventually disappear and be absorbed back into the bone.
Doctors recommend overweight patients to lose the excess weight, since it puts greater pressure on the foot and can trigger a heel spur to form. If your foot pain becomes chronic and does not respond to noninvasive treatments, then your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the spur.
Heel Spur Surgery
Heel spurs may be removed via minimally invasive surgery using an endoscope, which requires only a tiny incision. During the surgery, the doctor shaves down the heel spur and may also repair the plantar fascia to help prevent future pain. The entire procedure is quick and is performed in an outpatient setting.
Oftentimes, patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis or osteoarthritis also develop heel spurs. Your foot and ankle surgeon will recommend treatment that also addresses the underlying cause of the heel spur.
Is It a Heel Spur or Something Else?
You can usually feel a heel spur by touching the area and feeling tenderness or a sharp pain. One indicator that the pain is indeed caused by a spur is that resting the foot does not lessen the pain; every time you walk, you will experience the same or worsening discomfort until you get treatment to alleviate the pain.
Heel Spur Treatment in Cincinnati
If you think that you may have a heel spur, the best thing you can do is to see a skilled podiatrist. Heel spurs are almost always a symptom of an underlying condition that should also be treated.
Our experienced podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care serve patients who have both simple and complex foot problems. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our patients get back on their feet again.
We don’t want you to spend one more day in agony every time you walk. We accept same-day or next-day appointments in any of our locations throughout Cincinnati. To make an appointment, call the Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care clinic nearest you or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you here.