Heel spurs are one of the leading causes of heel pain. To get a definitive diagnosis and learn about treatment options, visit Vito La Puma, DPM at Healthy Step Podiatry. Located in Midtown East and the Financial District of New York City, the podiatry team offers in-house X-rays and surgical solutions, along with conservative care, to relieve pain caused by heel spurs. Schedule a visit today by calling or booking online.
A heel spur is a bony growth that develops on the bottom of the calcaneus — your heel bone — and protrudes into the soft tissues of your heel. Heel spurs typically have a sharp point at their tip that can project down toward the ground or forward toward the arch of your foot.
While heel spurs aren’t visible to the naked eye, signs of heel spurs include:
In many cases, heel spurs don’t cause any symptoms, so you may have one for years before it causes a problem.
Heel spurs develop when calcium deposits onto the base of your calcaneus over several weeks or months. This process is typically triggered by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, plantar fasciitis, and repetitive tears to the membrane that covers your calcaneus.
Certain risk factors for developing heel spurs exist, such as:
The team can help you determine if you have any risk factors for developing a heel spur and provides recommendations to prevent the formation of heel spurs, whenever possible.
Since heel spurs can’t be seen and may not be large enough to diagnose by pressing on your heel alone, the team takes X-rays of your heel in the office to determine your diagnosis. If a heel spur is visible on your X-rays, the team confirms your diagnosis and recommends a treatment plan based on the size of your heel spur and the severity of your symptoms.
Depending on the size of your heel spur, the team may begin with conservative therapies to relieve your discomfort and potentially slow the progression of growth of your heel spur. These therapies may include gait training, physical therapy, or foot stabilization exercises to strengthen the arch of your foot and stretch your calves. Wearing a brace or pad in your shoe may also help alleviate discomfort.
In some cases, the team may recommend an injection or cryosurgery to relieve pain and inflammation or an open surgery to remove the heel spur completely.
To determine if you have a heel spur, schedule a visit online or call Healthy Step Podiatry now.