What are bone spurs?

The formation of bone spurs is called osteophytosis. Bone spurs can develop almost anywhere on the foot. They are often a reaction to pressure or a result of an arthritic change near a joint. Bone spurs present in the feet from a bony protrusion that can feel bumpy underneath the skin.

Physician Evaluating Heel Spur on Young Patient

What causes bone spurs?

Typically, bone spurs on the foot are more likely to occur with age, but they can also be caused by osteoarthritis, which is the result of the cartilage between joints wearing down. Some other risk factors for bone spurs on top of the foot include the following:

  • Exercise, like dancing or running. Although physical activity has its benefits, it can increase your chances of forming bone spurs. This is especially true if you’re working out frequently and adding stress to the feet.
  • Obesity or being overweight. Excess weight can lead to bone spurs on top of the foot because of the added pressure on your feet.
  • Wearing tight shoes. Ill-fitting shoes can pinch your toes, causing friction and discomfort, ultimately leading to bone spurs on your feet.
  • Injury to the foot. Bone spurs on the top of your foot can form after a minor foot injury like a fracture or a bruise.
  • Having a low foot arch or flat feet. Low arches or flat feet create extra strain on your feet and joints. Not only can this cause bone spurs, but it can also cause other problems like hammertoes, blisters, and bunions.

Symptoms of bone spurs on top of the foot

Some bone spurs do not cause any symptoms or pain. However, when bone spurs in the feet cause discomfort, it is felt on top of the foot or the midfoot area. Pain varies from person to person and may gradually worsen over time. Other symptoms of bone spurs on the top of the foot include:

  • Stiffness
  • Redness and swelling
  • Corns or bunions
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Limited movement
  • Pressure on nearby nerves, causing pain in the joint
  • Tendonitis or tendon tears

Types of bone spurs

Bone spurs can occur in different parts of the body. At Arizona Foot Doctors, we commonly treat bone spurs on the top of the foot. We also treat the following types of bone spurs in the feet.

Heel spurs

A heel spur is a horizontal projection of bone growth, extending forward from the bottom of the calcaneus (the heel bone). Heel spurs can be quite painful and are often associated with plantar fasciitis. They can exist on one or both heels, taking many years to develop. Even though this type of spur can be present for a long time, it may not be painful until it reaches a specific size. A podiatrist will diagnose your issue after taking a lateral view x-ray of the foot.

Toe spurs

Bone spurs around the toes are often present around the bunion joint (1st metatarsophalangeal joint) or within the toes themselves. Toe spurs are often associated with corns or calluses in the front part of the foot (known as the forefoot). The medical terminology for a corn or callus is hyperkeratosis. Toe spurs can often be felt through the skin and are visible on an x-ray. Toe spurs can also be painful with shoe pressure. Treatment choices range from conservative to more aggressive surgical options. Initially, trimming the corn or callus on the skin can be effective. However, since the skin problem is caused by the underlying spur, smoothing the bone can cure this type of problem.

Arch spurs

An irritation can develop on the top of the foot in the arch area. This area becomes painful when shoelaces are tied or from pressure from a slip-on shoe. Examination of this area often shows redness and hardness beneath the skin. The skin irritation is associated with a spur or overgrowth of bone in the midfoot area. The most common location of arch spurs is at the joint between the first metatarsal and the first cuneiform bones. Similar to bone spurs on the top of the foot, arch spur development is associated with arthritis in the area. The treatment of this problem often requires surgery. The excessive buildup of bone needs to be removed by smoothing or filing the enlargement.

Bone spur treatment

You may wonder how to dissolve bone spurs naturally before scheduling an appointment to see a podiatrist. Although it may be possible to treat bone spurs on the top of the foot at home, it is best to get a medical opinion. At Arizona Foot Doctors, we offer bone spur treatment options to help ease any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. We take a conservative care approach and discuss treatment and preventative plans based on individual needs with our patients. We have over 35 years of podiatry experience, so you can trust us with your care.

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Bone spur treatment in Scottsdale

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