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Spring Clinic

2616 Farm to Market 2920,
Spring, TX, 77388

Downtown Houston Clinic

6550 Fannin Street
Houston, TX, 77030

Heel Spur Surgery vs. conservative Heel Spur Treatment

All patients are looking for the top or best foot surgeons to evaluate their heel spur problem or perform their surgery.  We believe that giving different treatment options (non surgical treatment) is a top priority.

Treatment for Heel Spur

At our practice our patients always have three choices:

  1. No Treatment (Consultation, Second Opinion, Additional Testing)
  2. Conservative Treatment (Medication, Injection Therapy, Custom Orthotics)
  3. Surgical Treatment (In Office, Out Patient – Local / Sedation / General Anesthesia)

Each patient is different and conservative treatment vs. surgical correction both differ for the particular type of problem, age and lifestyle.  The right treatment must also meet the patient’s expectations in regard to resolution of their problem(s) and future functionality.  And if conservative treatment fails, the option to not have surgery is as important as the surgery chosen by your surgeon.  Of course, surgical training is very important, and continuing medical education on the latest medical advancements is important as well, but it’s the careful planning before and after surgical treatment that produces the best outcome.

A heel spur is a bone growth on the bottom or back of the heel. Foot and heel bone spurs are areas where excess bone has grown forming a small lump which sticks out. The result can become inflamed and painful.

CAUSES OF BONE SPURS: The cause is most often a gradual injury due to repetitive friction or stress or consistent pulling of the attachment of the plantar fascia. This can be due to footwear, exercise, inflammation, biomechanics or simply from aging.

Common examples of this are heel bone spurs either at the back of the heel (often due to Achilles Tendonitis or calf muscle tightness), or underneath the heel as a result of Plantar Fasciitis.

PAIN AND DIAGNOSIS OF BONE SPUR: The heel pain on the bottom of the foot is characterized as a sharp biting pain with the first few steps in the morning and in the evening after increased activities with minor relief as it is “warmed up” during light walking and massage. You will be able to see and/or feel a bump near the area of stress.

SURGICAL TREATMENT OF CALCANEAL SPUR OR OSTEOPHYTE

Heel spur removal on the bottom of the calcaneus is preceded by a release of the Plantar fascia. This first exposes the spur and it is then simply filed down with a special instrument. The incision is minimal (1cm to 1 ½ cm) at the inside of the heel and sutures are removed at 2 weeks.

Heel spur removal at the attachment of the achilles tendon is more complicated. It requires total or partial detachment of the tendon and then removal of the spur. Reattachment can be with or without a bone anchor, non-weight bearing with crutches is for 4-8 weeks depending upon the procedure.

The procedure is performed in an outpatient facility under sedation and partial weight bearing is allowed after 48 to 72 hours of non weight bearing.

HEEL SPUR CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT

Rest:

The level of rest varies from decreased activities to crutches and non-weight bearing on the affected foot for 1 to 3 weeks. Avoid bare feet and shoes without support (sandals, flip-flops, house shoes, etc.).

Stretching: Static stretching in the morning AND evening using the proper technique will speed recovery and minimize re-injury.

Stretching:

Static stretching in the morning AND evening using the proper technique will speed recovery and minimize re-injury.

Medication:

Medication: Anti-inflammatory medication, both oral and topical can help with the chronic pain, but are not much help with the acute pain.

Injection:

An anesthetic (numbing agent) mixed with cortisone (anti-inflammatory) is placed at the point of pain to relieve the sharp pain associated with the first few steps in the morning and/or pain at night after increased activities.

Arch support:

Temporary arch supports, supportive athletic shoes, or a higher heel on a shoe will all provide additional rest to the injured ligament. Custom molded orthotics is the best solution for immediate and long term treatment.

Night Splints:

A night splint is a device that keeps a constant tension on the ligament while it is healing by keeping the foot at a 90 degree angle to the lower leg.

Physical Therapy:

Examples of physical therapy include massage, cold therapy, contrast baths, stretching, ultrasound, and electric stimulation. Therapy, contrast baths, stretching, ultrasound, and electric stimulation.

Custom molded ORTHOTIC CARE TESTIMONIAL

This video is about Custom molded orthotics – Patient testimonial. A hard working construction worker who had painful feet and Plantar fasciitis was looking for more than the usual arch supports. The thermo molded polypropylene devices are casted with the feet in what is called the ‘neutral position’ to help lock the foot and arch in it’s natural position.  more on custom orthotics

RELATED ARTICLES AND INFORMATION

Cleveland Clinic Logo

Think You Have a Heel Spur?
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

WebMD Logo

What is a Heel Spur?
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

Medical News Today Logo

Heel spurs: What you need to know
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

These are links to more information on the subject, not intended to imply an endorsement.

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