A common cause of heel pain is the heel spur, a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. The spur, visible by X-ray, appears as a protrusion that can extend forward as much as half an inch.
When there is no indication of bone enlargement, the condition is sometimes referred to as "heel spur syndrome." Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, by stretching
of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, and by repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone. These conditions may result from
biomechanical imbalance, running or jogging, improperly fitted or excessively worn shoes, or obesity.
Bone spurs can occur all over the body including the spine, shoulders, hands, hips and feet. The feet are a common place to find them. A heel spur happens when the body tries to mend itself. Building
extra bone is one way your body tries to correct a weakness. Wearing shoes that are too tight in the heel can cause bone spurs. More women than men get heel spurs because of the kinds of shoes they
wear. Athletes who stress their feet and legs routinely are also prone to heel spurs. Being overweight can also indirectly cause heel spurs by over-exerting the plantar fascia. Some heel spurs are
caused by the aging process, in which the cartilage covering the ends of bones wears away. This process can lead to pain, swelling and spur formation. Stress-related problems with the plantar fascia
frequently lead to heel spurs.
Although it may take years to become a problem, once it appears, it may cause considerable suffering. Because of proximity to the tendons, the spur is a source of continuous painful aching. The
sensation has been described as "a toothache in the foot." When you place your weight on the heel, the pain can be sufficient to immobilize you.
A Heel Spur diagnosis is made when an X-ray shows a hook of bone protruding from the bottom of the foot at the point where the plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone. The plantar fascia is the
thick, connective tissue that runs from the calcaneus (heel bone) to the ball of the foot. This strong and tight tissue helps maintain the arch of the foot. It is also one of the major transmitters
of weight across the foot as you walk or run. In other words, tremendous stress is placed on the plantar fascia.
Non Surgical Treatment
By reducing excessive motion and controlling and supporting the foot during physical activities an orthotic can help to limit how far the plantar fascia is pulled or torn away from the heel. A Heel
Spur pad can be offered- which is a pad designed to take pressure off the spur. If the problem persists, consult your foot doctor.
Though conservative treatments for heel spurs work most of the time, there are some cases where we need to take your treatment to the next level. Luckily, with today?s technologies, you can still
often avoid surgery. Some of the advanced technologies to treat a Heel Spur are Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (also known as PRP) is one of several regenerative medicine
techniques that University Foot and Ankle Institute has helped bring to foot and ankle care. This amazing in-office procedure allows the growth factors in the blood to be used to actually begin the
healing process again long after your body has given up on healing the area. Heel Pain Shockwave Therapy. Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive procedure done in the office that allows for new blood to
get to the region of fascia damage and help with healing. Results have been excellent with more than 70 percent of patients getting relief with only one treatment. Topaz for Heal Spurs and pain.
Another minimally invasive technology technique is called Coblation Surgery using a Topaz probe. This minimally invasive procedure involves controlled heating of multiple tiny needles that are
inserted through the skin and into the plantar fascia. This process, like PRP and Shockwave therapy, irritates the fascia enough to turn a chronic problem back into an acute problem, greatly
increasing the chances of healing. Heel Spur Surgery. Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy is one surgical procedure that we consider to release the tight fascia. University Foot and Ankle Institute has
perfected an endoscopic (camera guided) approach for fascia release to allow rapid healing and limited downtime with minimal pain.
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can only be prevented by treating any underlying associated inflammatory disease.