A bone spur is a “bump” or corner of bone that causes either direct or indirect pain. Bone spurs develop along the edge of the bones, usually where the bones meet at the joint. Because the foot has 30 joints, it is one of the most common areas for bone spurs to develop. More specifically, bone spurs typically develop on the bottom of the heel, on top of the foot, outside of the foot, inside of the foot, and on the toes. Pain can range from dull to sharp depending on the level of irritation and compression of the nerves being pressed between the bone spur and enclosed shoes.
If a patient’s bone spur condition is negatively impacting their everyday life, they can either opt for conservative options such as lifestyle readjustments, or surgical treatment. In order to decide the best route of care, the patient’s current lifestyle, age, and particular foot issue needs to be taken into consideration. If conservative treatment fails, the patient can either choose to explore surgical options or decide to opt out of additional treatment.
Bone spurs can be treated with conservative methods instead of surgery, including the following:
One method of conservative treatment for painful bone spurs is to wear a larger and softer shoe. A different shoe can relieve the direct or indirect pressure caused by bone spurs.
If the friction from your bone spurs is causing a callus or corn on your toes, consider reduction and temporary relief by shaving or consistent filing. Over-the-counter corn removal pads are available, but use caution when treating corns and calluses with these medications since they contain a type of acid that can cause infection if used in excess.
Temporary arch supports for custom orthotics can help to minimize the pressure placed on the bone spur, and also can reposition the foot to eliminate the discomfort. These devices are great as a long term solution without choosing surgical intervention.
Surgery for a bone spur condition depends on the location and related condition. Procedures are performed in an outpatient facility with the patient under sedation, or in the office with the patient under a local anesthesia.
Recovery time varies from a few days to a few weeks depending on the patient.
Recovery from bone spur surgery can take 2 to 4 weeks. Recovering from a bone spur is relatively short and depends where the surgery is performed. Sutures can be removed after 2 and it will take approximately 2 more weeks to get back into shoes comfortably.
Not all bone spurs require surgery. Some bone spurs are only found on X-rays, while other bone spurs can be felt directly on the body.
Yes, bone spurs continue to enlarge or keep growing depending upon the forces placed upon them.
Bone spurs do not commonly grow back after surgery. If they do, there is usually a bone recalcification issue or other forces that contribute to its return.
No, being overweight does not cause bone spurs. Excessive force to a structure due to being overweight can cause a spur formation though.
Some good shoes to wear with bone spurs include looser shoes with no laces or binding pressure on the top of the foot. Backless shoes or sandals are also great styles to wear that avoid placing pressure on the back of the heel.
“Dr. Moore is awesome! He’s so friendly and so is the staff. I went in to take care of an ingrown and he was quick about it and it didn’t even really hurt! I highly recommend him because he definitely knows his stuff!”
This patient had a fourth toe that was much longer than her fifth and was under-riding her third toe. The ‘spur’ formation was at the top of the joint or ‘knuckle’ of the toe. It was painful with shoes and exercise. She underwent a procedure in the office under local anesthesia and had a great outcome both functionally and cosmetically.
If you have painful bone spurs that are impacting how you walk, or make wearing shoes uncomfortable, we can help you find a solution. Contact Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists for a consultation today!
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