Heel Bone Spur

 

What is a heel bone spur (or calcaneal spur)?

The pointed bony overgrowth at the heel or the calcaneal bone is called a heel bone spur. Heel spurs extend from the calcaneus penetrating into the soft tissues covering the bottom of the foot while causing inflammation of the plantar fascia. They can be noticed right beneath the heel bone and they are most prevalent in people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. Heel spurs are found in X-rays of about 70% of plantar fasciitis patients. However, a heel spur can also be present in people without plantar fasciitis, i.e. people who do not suffer any heel pain. Around 50% of people aged between 40-50 years have small spurs that can be diagnosed with X-ray.

heel bone spur Heel Bone Spur

Heel Bone Spur

 

What causes a heel bone spur to develop?

The calcaneus or  heel bone is the strongest and largest bone in our feet. When we wake up in the morning, it is our heels that we first put on the ground to stand up and balance our body mass over. Composed of calcium deposits, the bony hook of heel spur tends to develop when the ligament plantar fascia abnormally stretches due to strenuous foot movements. It grows abnormally as the plantar fascia ligament pulls away from the heel. The excessive stretching of the plantar fascia is commonly caused by over-pronation (rolling inwards of the ankles and dropping of the arches).

A small percentage of people have unusually high foot arches and this condition may also lead to the development of heel spurs.

Treatment options 

There is no actual cure for heel bone spur, other than to remove it through surgery. However, heel spurs usually are not a problem for the patient in that they don’t cause any pain. The spur is a mere symptom of a bigger problem: Plantar Fasciitis or inflammation of the plantar fascia (the fibrous ligament under the foot) is a common medical condition which can be treated in several ways.Read more about Heel Spur Treatment on this website.

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