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What Is a Heel Spur?

Nov 08, 2017 11:20AM ● By Dia
Q: What is a Heel Spur/Plantar Fascilitis?
A: Heal Spur Syndrome or Plantar fasciitis is often described as a “stone bruise” by patients with pain usually being worse in the morning or after periods of rest. As the pain worsens, the heel can hurt even while not weight bearing. Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by a mechanical problem involving the structural alignment of the foot. Other types of foot pain must be ruled out (e.g., Nerve entrapment, arthritic diseases, or tumors to name some).
Heel spurs do not need to be removed. It has been demonstrated in the medical literature, as well as clinically, that a heel spur is a secondary effect. It is not the source of the heel pain. Even when the condition has to be addressed surgically, in most cases nothing is done to the spur. The inflammation near the spur, (where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone) is what needs to be treated.
About 80% of the time, a patient with this condition can successfully be treated conservatively, without surgery! Conservative treatment of anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid injections and orthotics (custom arch supports) should be exhausted before trying surgical options. If surgical options are necessary there is a new technique, “Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy” out that recently got FDA approved in October, 2000.  It uses Acoustical shock waves for therapeutic treatment of heel pain.  The other type of surgery requires releasing part of the plantar fascia “endoscopically.” In both cases, make sure that the podiatric physician has performed the procedures and is certified in them.

Heel pain is a very common condition and can be debilitating to one’s life if not addressed early. 
Call Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists for an evaluation. (817)424-3668 (FOOT). 
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