Bone spurs

Bone spurs,or osteophytes, are a very common foot problem. In the feet, they develop most frequently in the heel, near the toes, and on the big toe joint. The spurs are small outgrowths of bone. In and of themselves, they are generally harmless. However, their location may cause friction or irritation from shoes or other foot structures, which can cause a quite a bit of pain and lead to other foot problems.

Causes

Bone spurs can develop through excessive friction, pressure, or stress from a tight ligament or tendon, physical activities such as running or other sports, wearing poor fitting shoes, from being overweight or from osteoarthritis which most commonly occurs as we age. All of these pressures on the bone causes more bone to develop as it attempts to repair itself.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs can occur on the bottom or back of the calcaneus, or heel bone. Heel spurs are growths of bone on the underside, forepart of the heel bone and occur when the plantar fibrous band pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel later calcifies to form a spur. Heel spurs usually occur at the same location in the plantar fascia as heel pain does since the action causing these problems are identical.  Not everyone who has plantar fasciitis or heel pain will get a heel spur.

Pump bump

A pump bump or Haglund's Deformity is a bony enlargement that occurs on the back of the heel. It got it's name "pump bump" since women who have this enlargement and wear pumps often develop painful bursitis as a result of the friction causes by shoes rubbing on the enlargement and overlying tissue. Swelling an redness and a bump all are all symptoms of this condition.

Big toe joint

Diagnosis

Bone spurs can go undetected for years, depending on their location. Not all bone spurs cause pain, but when they do it's diagnosed when its seen on X-ray.

Treatment

With proper warm-up and the use of appropriate athletic shoes, strain to the ligament can be reduced.

Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, corrective shoes, and/or orthotics (special shoe inserts) are some of the common treatments for spurs. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication. Surgery may be prescribed if spurring around the joint becomes severe or leads to recurrent pain from persistent corns.