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Heel or Toe Bone Spurs
A blunt trauma injury to your foot, can cause you to develop bone spurs. When you experience pain in your foot, it may be caused by bone spurs. The nagging bumps can arise from a wide range of sources, so it’s best to visit an experienced midtown NYC podiatrist for evaluation instead of waiting.
The medical term for bone spurs is osteophytes, and they can form in your heel and/or your toes. Toe spurs can occur on any toe, although most often you’ll find them on your outside toes. Heel spurs are typically on the bottom of your heel, which makes it hard to walk on hard surfaces, especially when barefoot.
Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form on the underside of your heel bone, creating a bony protrusion. Heel spurs can grow as much as half an inch. They are detectable by X-rays. If you have bone spurs that are smaller and not easily detected in X-rays, it’s called “heel spur syndrome.”
If you’re experiencing heel or toe pain from a bone spur, the foot doctor can diagnose your foot issue and recommend the appropriate treatment. By discovering the cause of your toe or heel pain, you may learn what contributed to the development of your heel or toe spurs in order to prevent future bouts of the condition.
Typical Causes of Bone Spurs
Toe and heel spurs are often painless by themselves, but they cause pain by putting excessive pressure on your skin over the spur, on the nearby bones or against the ligaments or fascia. Heel spurs in particular are often linked to plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue that connects your heel to your toes.
Your podiatrist in NYC can give you a better idea of what’s causing your heel or toe pain. The calcium buildup that forms spurs typically forms over a period of several months, so if you have sudden pain, the foot doctor can tell if it’s due to another foot issue.
Toe and heel spurs are usually caused by strains on the ligaments and muscles in your foot. Spurs may also develop from a repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia and strain on the membrane covering your heel bone. Heel spurs are common among athletes who experience repetitive jumping and running for extended periods of time.
Risk Factors for Bone Spurs
Common risk factors associated with heel and toe spurs include:
- Jogging or running, especially on paved or hard surfaces
- Walking abnormalities — such as an usual gait or poor walking posture — that put extra stress on your heel and toe bones
- Obesity and excessive weight
- Shoes with bad arch support
- Shoes that are worn out or fit poorly
Leading foot doctors caution you about additional risk factors linked to plantar fasciitis:
- Advanced age, as age decreases flexibility in your plantar fascia and contributes to thinning of the protective padding of fat in your heel
- Extended periods of time on your feet
- Frequent bursts of physical exertion without warming up
- Having high arches or flat feet
Symptoms Associated with Heel and Toe Spurs
Pain is usually the only symptom of heel or toe spurs, but you may not notice bone spurs in your feet until the pain becomes severe. Heel spurs can show up intermittently or chronically when you’re doing a strenuous activity like power walking, jogging or running. Some people describe pain from toe or heel spurs as a pin or knife poking them in the bottom of their feet, especially when they stand up out of bed in the morning. If you let it go, the symptoms may return later as a dull ache in your heel or toe.
If you see inflammation during physical activities, find the best foot doctor possible in New York as soon as you can. Inflammation may also be a symptom of other soft-tissue conditions in your foot, so it’s important to visit your NYC podiatrist to receive a proper diagnosis.
Diagnosis of Toe and Heel Spurs
Your podiatrist considers many factors when diagnosing you for toe or heels spurs — including your pain level, your overall health, your genetic disposition (whether any relatives have had foot issues) and any tenderness in the area of your bony protrusion.
The foot doctor may examine your foot with an MRI or X-rays to identify the spur on the toes or heel bone, also known as the calcaneus. Bone spurs may also show up in examinations by your foot doctor with ultrasound imaging, CT scans and myelograms — a process that uses dyes for contrast that appear in X-rays and MRIs.
Treating Heel and Toe Spurs
Unfortunately, the pain caused by heel and toe spurs doesn’t decrease with rest. It can actually feel worse if you go for a walk in the morning. Your plantar fascia tissue stretches, which puts extra stress on your heel. The pain may decrease the more you walk, but people with this condition often feel the pain come back after a prolonged rest or additional walking.
Manhattan podiatrist may advise the following treatments for toe and heel spur-related conditions, depending on your situation:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Custom-made orthotics
- Cortisone injections
If your pain doesn’t respond to any of these treatments, you may need a surgical procedure. Consult your podiatrist, but if your pain persists for over a month, try additional treatments before surgery, including:
- Taping your feet to ease the stress on your tendons and muscles
- Foot stretching exercises
- Recommendations for more comfortable shoes
- Physical therapy
Toe and heel pain can also be reduced or eliminated by over-the-counter pain killers and anti-inflammatories such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Aleve (naproxen) or Advil (ibuprofen). These medications provide short-term pain relief only, though.
Surgery for Toe and Heel Spurs
The success rate for heel and toe spur surgery is more than 90 percent. Your podiatrist in NYC recommends surgery only if conservative, non-surgical treatments fail after a period of nine to 12 months. The two most common surgical techniques are removing the spur itself and surgery to release stress on the plantar fascia.
Seek the best foot doctor in the NYC area. Get a full examination, diagnosis and treatment recommendation before deciding, but remember that conservative treatments are the place to start. Only if they don’t provide any relief should you agree to surgery.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Heel or Toe Bone Spurs treatment in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 687-2930