Heel spurs are small, bony growths on the heel. A spur may develop
when the ligament that connects the heel bone to the bones in the toes (plantar
fascia) becomes inflamed.
A person with a heel spur may not be aware of any symptoms. If
symptoms are present, they may include:
Pain or tenderness over the weight-bearing part
of the bottom of the heel.
A bump that can sometimes be felt when
the area is touched.
But symptoms in the heel are most often caused by inflammation
rather than by the spur itself.
A heel spur can be diagnosed by looking at an X-ray. In most cases
the spur is not the main cause of the heel pain, so the spur is typically left
alone and the cause of the heel pain is treated. For instance, a painful and
inflamed tendon near the spur (plantar fasciitis) may need treatment. If a spur
is found to be the main cause of the heel pain, surgery or injections may be
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Gavin W.G. Chalmers, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
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