| Heel Spur Surgery
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Heel Spur Surgery

Heel Spur Surgery

A heel spur is a condition that leads to chronic pain that can greatly impact a person’s day to day life.  It is caused by a bony growth in the heel, which is a calcium deposit that extends between your heel bone and the arch of your foot.  While heel spurs typically start in this area, they can lead to problems in other areas of the foot.  While heel spurs can be painful, they can often be fixed through surgical intervention.

Heel spurs may not always be noticed to the naked eye.  They do not always cause pain and can go unnoticed in some people.  However, when they are noticed, it is typically because they are causing pain, inflammation, or swelling at the front of the heel.  They can even cause pain in the arch of the foot.  Left untreated, a bony protrusion may occur that is visible to the naked eye.

Heel spurs are often caused by long term muscle and/or ligament strain.  This can be caused by a variety of reasons, from wearing poorly fitting shoes to having poor gait.  They tend to develop over time as opposed to showing up all of a sudden.  They also tend to worsen when the early symptoms of pain are ignored, and the heel spur is allowed to grow bigger and bigger.  In addition to muscle and ligament strain, heel spurs may be caused by arthritis, being overweight, and wearing flip flops too often.

In order to diagnose heel spurs, an x-ray is typically needed to see the bone structure of the foot.  After an accurate diagnosis, the most common treatment for heel spurs is rest and lifestyle changes.  It can also help to ice the area periodically or when the pain starts to occur.  If the pain persists and is more severe, cortisone shots may help reduce inflammation and thus reduce pain.  Physical therapy, stretching, and orthotic inserts can also greatly help reduce pain.  However, when conservative measures fail, surgery may be necessary.

Doctors will typically refrain from surgery for heel spurs until the pain becomes severe and constant.  The goal of surgery is to remove the heel spur, thus removing the source of pain.  There is a recovery process when it comes to heel surgery, and it takes time before the patient is able to put weight on it again.  Recovery includes resting your foot, icing, compression, and supportive gear.  Typical healing length is about six weeks before normal activities can begin to be resumed.

Heel spurs can become very painful over time.  So painful in fact that they greatly affect a person’s quality of life.  Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments that can help to lessen the pain.  Patients will begin with conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and rest.  If these measures do not work, surgery may be recommended.  Removing the heel spur through surgery can greatly help to reduce the amount of pain a patient feels and allow them to have a much better quality of life.

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