Heel spurs are bone-like calcium deposits on the underside of the heel bone. Many heel spurs do not cause pain. However, recurrent inflammation of the plantar fascia often causes microscopic tears in the ligaments resulting in calcium deposits along the heel. These calcium deposits can be seen on an x-ray and often result in pain during walking, running, jumping, or even standing.
As is the case in many foot problems, noninvasive treatments are used before resorting to any surgical options. Resting until the pain subsides, stretching, and wearing custom fit orthotics can mitigate much of the pain associated with heel spurs. Eventually, the body reabsorbs the calcium deposit in the heel and any associated pain goes away. However, if pain persists, the bony deposit does not go away, or if other noninvasive techniques do not resolve heel spur pain, surgery may be required to remove the bony deposit. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using cutting edge minimally invasive surgical techniques that limit the amount of downtime and recovery. With smaller incisions and faster healing times, Dr. Jonathan Thurm offers his patients a life free from heel spur pain with a lower risk of infection.
Since heel spurs are caused by the strains placed on the muscles and ligaments of the foot as well as inflammation of the plantar fascia, protecting the foot’s structure is the best way to prevent heel spurs. Most common in athletes who run and jump a lot, wearing shoes that best meet the person’s gait and muscular needs can help prevent heel spurs from coming back. Custom fit orthotics, like those made by Dr. Thurm at Tower Podiatry, properly position and support the foot during athletic activities.