Cover image of a heel spur

heel callus; What is it and how is it treated

Heel spurs (calcaneal spurs) commonly cause pain on the bottom of the foot at the heel. It is a protrusion of bone in the heel bone area that causes inflammation and pain in the adjacent tissue.

What is a heel spur?

A heel spur (also called a heel spur) is a bony formation in the heel bone of the tarsal bones as a result of excess calcium build-up due to local or systemic disease.

This protrusion causes irritation and inflammation of the adjacent structures, leading to pain in the bottom of the foot at the heel area, and redness and edema may also occur in this area.

Image showing the formation of the heel nail on the heel bone and its irritation to the adjacent tissues
A heel spur may irritate nearby tissue

Heel spur Symptoms

In most cases, the heel nail is not accidental and does not cause pain to the patient. Because its length does not exceed 1.5 cm at worst. The heel nail itself does not cause pain, but depending on its placement, it may cause damage to the adjacent tissues, and thus the following symptoms may appear:

  • Constant or intermittent pain in the bottom of the foot, especially while walking or running
  • severe foot pain on the first steps of the day after getting up (or after resting)
  • The patient describes their pain as being like a pin or nail on the bottom of the foot and radiating up the heel at the ankle
  • Swelling and redness in the heel

Heel spur Causes

There are many causes of heel spur formation in the patient's heel bone. One of these causes is localized diseases of the foot and systemic diseases (generally occur in the entire body). Knowing the cause of a heel spur is vital in treatment.

One of the predispositions and reasons for forming a heel spur is stress, which is one of the most important reasons. Long walks or jogging for long distances are risk factors for heel spur formation. But this process takes a long time; that is, this stress must be over months on the heel of the patient to form a bone nail.

The patient's toe stress problem is exacerbated if he wears uncomfortable shoes that do not support the arch of the feet or if he walks on solid ground, which will lead to pain in the bottom of the foot in the heel area due to the protrusion of the heel nail.

Risk factors also include having:

  • overweight
  • of arthritis
  • foot bruises
  • plantar fasciitis;
  • Abnormal ways of walking
  • Idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
  • Flat feet or high arches
  • diabetes

How is a heel spur diagnosed?

Because pain in the bottom of the foot occurs due to several different diseases, mainly plantar fasciitis and the calcaneal spur (heel spur), to differentiate between them, the doctor will order an x-ray of the feet in a position from the inner side of them.

The picture shows a protrusion of the bone at the bottom of the calcaneal bone, an excess of ossification, and an accumulation of calcium due to inflammation and continuous damage to the calcaneal bone. We may notice the heel spur on the upper surface of the calcaneal bone.

This bony protrusion seen is called the heel spur (heel spur), and in the event that other pathological conditions that cause pain in the bottom of the foot are denied, the heel spur is the main one involved in causing this pain to the foot, and thus the diagnosis is made.

Radiograph showing the heel spur
X-ray of heel spur

If you suffer from pain in the bottom of the foot and cannot walk, especially with your first steps in the morning Contact us Let us guide you to the disease you suffer from and tell you how to treat it.

Prevention of heel spur

A heel spur can affect anyone, especially those whose daily lifestyle depends on standing for long hours, like teachers, or walking great distances, like marathon runners.

So, if you previously suffered from a heel nail and recovered, or you are familiar with it now, you must protect yourself from it - because the pain will hinder your ability to walk - by following the following tips:

  • Wear comfortable medical shoes that support the arch of the feet. Worn shoes that do not support the arch will cause bruising in the soles, and thus a painful spur will form in the heel, or plantar fasciitis will also occur due to a tear in the plantar fascia.
  • If you suffer from pain in the bottom of the foot for one time, you must resort to rest immediately and not continue strenuous work on the bottom of the feet so that you do not develop a heel spur.
  • Also, with rest, it is preferable to put ice in the place of pain for a few minutes to reduce edema and inflammation in the heel because the formation of the heel nail in the bone is an inflammatory process as a result of repeated trauma to the sole, causing severe pain.

Heel spur treatment

Heel spurs are often treated using traditional home methods of treatment. When not benefiting from it, we resort to more advanced non-surgical methods. In the end, surgery may be the final solution to treat the heel spur if all previous forms are not benefited.

Conventional treatment of heel spur

Conservative, traditional treatment is often the most important in heel spur treatment. Whether we rely on it alone or associate it with other treatment options, it is the key to recovery.

The most important conservative treatments at home that are medically recommended:

Rest

Rest is the most critical advice for heel spur treatment. It comes at the forefront of advice for effective treatment because the continuous and intense effort will worsen the condition, and the lack of healing in the bone will happen, even if other treatments are used.

cold compresses (ice)

Suppose you suffer from heel spur pain, in addition to noticing swelling and redness of the heel. In that case, it is recommended to apply cold compresses to the area of pain to reduce edema and inflammation and reduce pain. Apply several times a day for 15 minutes at a time.

Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications

Since the heel spur is an ossification that occurs as a result of an inflammatory process in the heel, in addition to causing pain in the patient, the key to solving these two problems together is pain relievers from the category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.

Medical shoes

The patient should wear shoes that support the arch of the feet and be flexible and spongy, so that does not cause pressure on the soles when walking on hard ground. Adding orthopedic insoles to your regular shoes may be enough to solve the problem.

Non-surgical treatment of heel spur

The doctor does not prefer to resort to a surgical solution quickly. This is because most patients improve on conventional treatment and non-surgical treatment. Therefore, if treatment at home with a heel spur does not work, we resort to the following options:

steroid injection

Injecting cortisone into the area of pain helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation, swelling, and redness, thus improving heel spur symptoms. In any case, this treatment option should not be relied on frequently due to its side effects if one gets used to it.

Physiotherapy in Turkey

This physiotherapy treatment for heel spurs is done under the supervision of physiotherapists. They will recommend exercises appropriate for your condition to relieve heel spur pain.

Some of these exercises include:

  • Stretching the calf muscle while leaning against a wall.
  • Stretch the calf muscle with one foot higher than the other foot
  • Roll a tennis ball on the ground with the sole of your foot

And other studied exercises that suit your condition, as it does not matter what the exercise is only, but the number of times it is performed per day and the time required to do it at one time, and this varies depending on your condition.

Contact usWe are Bimaristan Medical CenterLet us guide you to the correct treatment for heel spurs and provide you with support to access the best health care in Turkey in case your condition is chronic and you need surgery to return your feet to normal.

foot braces

For some people, wearing a brace on the foot may help reduce the friction of the bone spur in the heel against nearby tissues, thus relieving tissue inflammation and pain resulting from that friction with the heel spur.

Image of a medical brace to relieve heel spurs pain (heel spur)
A medical corset to relieve pain in the heel spur

Surgical treatment of heel spurs in Turkey

90% of patients improve on conventional treatment and nonsurgical treatment. However, 10% of patients remain without benefit from these treatments. Therefore, surgery is indicated if the patient suffers from heel spur symptoms for six months or a year despite resorting to the treatments above.

Heel spurs surgery involves making an incision in the foot to remove the bone spur (known as a heel spur).

Surgical treatment may also include releasing the plantar fascia by separating the connection between it and the heel (the calcaneus bone) because the pain may be due to plantar fasciitis, and the presence of the heel spur is not symptomatic or contributing to the symptoms.

Heel spur, which causes severe pain makes the patient's life difficult because of the inability to walk. The patient must not neglect his condition so that it does not deteriorate. In most cases, relying on traditional home remedies is sufficient for a cure.


Sources:

  1. healthline
  2. The Foot Care Group
  3. WebMD

Frequently Asked Questions:

A heel spur is a bulge of bone in the heel area. This callus develops due to more calcium being deposited on the heel bone (a piece of bone is formed due to calcification) due to inflammation caused by constant trauma to the sole if walking is uncomfortable.

The growth of the bump, called a heel spur, causes several symptoms. The most important is the pain when walking, and the patient may be unable to complete a few steps because of pain (especially in the morning).

But if the patient follows the treatment instructions and adheres to them, the heel spur (calcification) is not dangerous, and its symptoms improve with time in the short term.

If he does not comply, we may need surgery to remove this calcareous protrusion from the bone to comfort the patient and enable him to return to his everyday life and walk without pain (removal of the heel spur).

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.

English