Definition: a bony spur projecting from the back or underside of the heel that often makes walking painful



What is a heel spur?

A heel spur (calcaneal spur) is a small bony growth located on the heel bone (calcaneus). Repetitive press and excessive pulling of the plantar fascia on the heel bone can lead to calcium deposits on the bottom of the heel (bone spur). This can make it difficult to bear weight on the affected heel making walking or exercise difficult to do.

What can cause a heel spur?

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  • Over-training or high impact sports/activities can cause arch strain leading to heel spurs
  • Recent weight gain can also lead to heel spurs
  • Medical conditions such as Ankylosing Spondylitis are associated with heel spurs
  • Poor biomechanics of the foot (i.e. over pronation, flat feet, etc.)


How do you diagnose a heel spur?

Radiological examination (X-ray) can be used to determine whether or not you have a heel spur.

How do you treat heel spurs?

There are several conservative, nonsurgical treatment options. Consult your foot specialist to determine what treatment options will be most effective for you. The Foot Guy, David Allison, can provide the necessary conservative treatment options which usually consists of reducing the amount of pressure on the heel by using:

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  • orthopedic shoes
  • padding
  • removable air-cast boot
  • crutches, a walker, or even a wheelchair
  • Custom designed orthotics to support the foot by redistributing pressure or realigning foot joints