Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Heel Spurs

Heels spurs are most commonly caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. When a patient suffers from this condition, it can be extremely painful to do normal, daily activities, such as walking and standing. Plantar fasciitis occurs because of a tight fascial band. The fascial band attaches at the heel bone and spreads throughout the bottom of the foot. Typically, in patients with low arches or extremely high arches, the band is overworked and pulling at the insertion site (at the heel bone).

With constant pulling of the fascial band, the heel bone can develop a calcification known as a heel spur. This spur, once formed, permanently remains there. The question is whether to remove the spur or not. Usually, when patients actively treat their plantar fasciitis, the symptoms of heel pain resolve. The heel spur is typically never the cause of the pain. It is the inflammation and soft tissue swelling surrounding the heel with constant pulling and tightness of the plantar fascial band that causes the pain. Once the plantar fascial band has been loosened (via stretching) and the inflammation has subsided, the symptoms resolve.

In some cases, even after aggressive treatment of plantar fasciitis, the patient remains in pain. One reason could be that the fascial band is unable to be loosened via stretching and in these cases it can be surgically released. Another reason pain could remain is that the heel spur can form in such a way that it microscopically tears the plantar fascial band. Ultrasounds or MRIscan be performed to diagnose this cause. If it is found that the heel spur is causing harm, it can be removed surgically.

Surgical removal of the heel spur involves an incision into the foot, spreading and freeing of soft tissue, and then filing down the bone spur. This can be done in a surgery center or in some cases, in the office. The recovery time is typically a total of two to four weeks. A special shoe is worn until the skin heals and stitches are removed within 10-14 days after the procedure. Physical therapy is often started to help prevent a heel spur from forming again.


You Might Also Enjoy...

Your feet and the Right Running Shoe

Over the past few years there has been a trend in the running world toward minimalistic shoes. A minimalistic shoe is defined as a shoe that allows the foot to function as close to its natural state as possible. They are generally manufactured with less...

What are Flat Feet?

Having flat feet means having a feet that don’t have a proper arch. Flat feet are a common problem that affects pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients alike. There are three different types of flat foot: Flexible Flat Foot. This is the most common...

Everything you wanted to know about Bunions

Bunion Basics A bunion is a painful bump near the big toe. Wearing tight-fitting, high-heeled shoes does not cause bunions, but it sure can aggravate them. Learn more. If you notice a bump not far from your big toe that is red and throbbing, you’ve...

If you smoke it can hurt your feet…

Smoking doesn’t just harm your lungs and your heart. It is also a major risk factor for a condition that harms millions of Americans’ feet. You’ve likely read how smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease. Now it’s time to read about what smoking...

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

What Causes Ingrown Toenails? Toenails that curve over and dig into the skin of your toe are called ingrown toenails. They can cause significant pain, but are generally not serious if taken care of. If you don’t take good care of your feet though, an...

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location