A bone spur, also known as an osteophyte, is an abnormal growth made of calcium deposits around inflamed joints. People who have bone spurs will notice odd growths around the back, or sole, of the heel bone of the foot. Bone spurs take months or years to develop and don’t cause frequent pain, so they may not be spotted quickly. Conditions that cause inflammation around a joint, such as arthritis, can lead to bone spurs, as the body is working to heal the foot condition by laying down calcium deposits.
At Arizona Foot Doctors, we want you to know what to expect if diagnosed with this condition and the options to manage your symptoms or treat the bone spur.
What causes bone spurs?
Stress and pressure on a joint over time can lead to damage. In response to this pressure, the body lays down calcium deposits in the affected area to protect it. Commonly, bone spurs are a result of osteoarthritis, but they can also be caused by other foot conditions or injuries that create inflammation of the joint. Since bone spurs are slow growing, they often go unnoticed until you feel discomfort.
While bone spurs themselves aren’t painful, they do cause inflammation, sharp pain, aches, and irritation in the surrounding soft tissue, tendons, and ligaments. In some cases, the bone spur can lead to damage of nearby tendons and ligaments. Speaking with your podiatrist, or bone spur doctor, for a precautionary evaluation can help you avoid possible damage to the foot. A podiatrist can work with you and your family to manage symptoms with a non-invasive treatment plan.
Symptoms of bone spurs
Difficulty standing, soreness, redness—these are all symptoms of bone spurs. If you experience any of these symptoms (even if the symptoms are infrequent), book an appointment with our Scottsdale podiatrist to evaluate your foot problem and seek help:
- Difficulty standing
- Limited joint mobility
- Pain when walking or moving
For many patients, bone spur treatment doesn’t involve surgery. Physical therapy and night splits are a solution for many.
Where bone spurs can grow on the foot
There are three areas of the feet that are vulnerable to bone spur growth:
- Toes: Bone spurs are found around the bunion joint. They may cause pain when touched or irritated by footwear.
- Arch: These spurs are found on the top of the midfoot. This region may appear red and reveal a hard buildup of bone underneath the skin upon examination.
- Heel: These horizontal growths appear on the heel joint. They develop over a period of time and are increasingly painful as they grow in size. They are frequently associated with another foot problem: plantar fasciitis.
In most cases, when bone spurs begin to cause pain, seeking a podiatrist’s care can give you the best relief and improvement of mobility. After an evaluation, a podiatrist will present your best treatment options for bone spurs.
What are the treatment options for bone spurs?
Our team at Arizona Foot Doctors takes a conservative treatment approach to bone spurs. Our non-invasive toe pain treatments work well to reduce symptoms and promote healing. A podiatrist can evaluate and work to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and offer effective treatment options based on your needs. Here are some non-invasive bone spur treatments your podiatrist may prescribe:
- Physical therapy
- Heat and ice therapy
- Stretching exercises
- Supportive shoes
- Custom orthotics
- Night splints
- Walking boots
Talk with your bone spur doctor about the risks of developing bone spurs and noninvasive toe pain treatment. Adjustments in routines, footwear, diet, and exercise are necessary parts of foot care. If you’re looking for more invasive bone spur treatment options, speak with a podiatrist about what care is right for you. At AFD, we’ll help you reduce or eliminate your foot pain. Our friendly foot care is what every patient deserves.
Our gentle approach to foot care
At Arizona Foot Doctors, we want you to be comfortable and feel confident about getting the best podiatric care available. We take pride in our conservative approach to foot care, and we offer our patients modern, cutting-edge treatment options. Please contact us to learn more about toe pain treatment and other services or to book an appointment.