Conservative and Surgical Treatments for Heel Spurs
Heel pain should never be something you ignore. It should spur you to action! If you happen to be suffering and our examination reveals the presence of a heel spur, you might be worried that surgery is in your future. While that is one possible outcome, fortunately for you, it’s a pretty rare one.
The first thing to know about heel spurs is that they aren’t necessarily the real problem. In fact, most of the time the spur isn’t really doing anything at all to contribute to your pain. It’s much more likely that a soft tissue injury—usually plantar fasciitis—that is at fault. So, when we diagnose heel pain and identify a heel spur, the first treatment phase will include the same sorts of conservative therapies used for soft tissue damage. Depending on the severity of pain and the contributing causes, these might include one or more of the following remedies:
If you’re disciplined about following your treatment plan, the odds are very good that a combination of conservative therapies like the ones above will be successful in treating your heel pain—somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 percent or so. The heel spur itself, of course, will remain. But if it isn’t causing you pain or stopping you from enjoying your activities, then there’s no reason to go further with treatment. If it lets you be, you can let it be.
Unfortunately, there’s still those 5-10 percent of cases where the pain just won’t quit. If you’ve tried conservative treatments and problems continue to persist—or if we’ve determined that it really is the spur itself causing pain—it may be time to look at surgical options. One possible procedure would be to simply remove the spur. Another would be a partial release of the plantar fascia tissue in order to prevent it from tugging as hard on the heel bone. The best course of action will have to be determined by your surgeon on a case-by-case basis.
The good news, however, is that it probably won’t even get to that point. But the longer you sit around and endure the pain without making any attempt at treatment, the more difficult treatment and recovery are likely to be. Take the first step toward getting your life back, and call the team at Dallas Podiatry Works at (972) 566-7474.
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