Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


Heel Spurs

When people come into our office complaining about heel pain, they often ask about heel spurs. These hard, bony deposits are a frequent side effect of chronic plantar fasciitis, which is the most common cause of heel pain in American adults. Although not always painful on their own, they can cause discomfort depending on their size and location.

What Is a Heel Spur and How Does It Form?

A heel spur is a deposit of calcium that builds up on the underside of the heel bone, toward the front. This process occurs gradually, usually over the course of several months.

Spurs typically form in response to chronic, untreated plantar fasciitis, or other chronic soft tissue injuries and stress near the heel bone. For a variety of reasons—shoes, abnormal foot structure, overuse, etc.—the fibrous plantar fascia tissue may stretch and tear, pulling away from the heel.  At the same time, the membrane covering the heel bone may also tear. This creates the opportunity for calcium to deposit on the heel bone, gradually forming a spike-like bony enlargement that may reach a half and inch long or more.

Do Heel Spurs Hurt?

how to correct flat footNot necessarily, or even usually. Most of the time a heel spur will not cause any discomfort on its own. A heel spur, of course, may be present in someone with heel pain, but usually the soft tissue injury is the real source of the discomfort. Once the soft tissue injury, usually plantar fasciitis, heals, the spur itself will not cause any more trouble. In fact, quite frequently people don’t discover they even have a heel spur in the first place until they need an X-ray for an unrelated reason!

However, in a minority of cases—maybe 1 in 20—the spur continues to cause pain even after everything else has healed. This could be due to the spur pressing uncomfortably against more sensitive tissues, particularly when bearing weight. As with any other foot or ankle concern, if heel spurs are causing pain, they should be treated by a professional.

Treatment for Heel Spurs

If you have a heel spur in addition to a painful soft tissue injury like plantar fasciitis, treatment will follow the normal course for the primary condition. In about 90 percent of cases or more, this resolves the problem within several weeks to several months, using only conservative therapies like rest, ice, stretching, and/or orthotics.

Heel spurs do not usually need to be removed surgically, particularly if they are not causing any pain. However, for those that do, we may perform a procedure to either release the plantar fascia and/or excise the spur itself. The post-surgery prognosis is usually quite good, although potential complications such as nerve pain, scarring, or infection are always possible. You’ll need to carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care to give yourself the best odds of a speedy and full recovery.

You do not have to live with the discomfort of heel pain. The doctors at Dallas Podiatry Works: Dr. Joel W. Brook, David R. Northcutt, Dr. Irene Arroyo, and Dr. John M. Baca, can obtain proper diagnosis and offer treatment that will eliminate your pain. Contact us in Dallas, TX at (972) 566-7474 or in Plano, TX at (972) 943-3323 for an appointment today.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
Come experience Dallas Podiatry Works of Dallas, TX and Plano, TX! You will see for yourself that our podiatrists, foot doctors and foot specialists provide 5-star-rated foot care in Dallas TX, Plano TX, Frisco TX, McKinney TX, Richardson TX, Garland TX, Rockwall TX, Allen TX, Arlington TX and Fort Worth TX. Call 972.566.7474 today.
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