Heel Spurs & Plantar Fasciitis

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Heel spurs & plantar fasciitis facts

  • A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth of the bone of the heel (the calcaneus bone).
  • Heel spurs under the sole of the foot (plantar area) are associated with plantar fasciitis.
  • Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can occur alone or be related to underlying diseases.
  • Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are treated by measures that decrease the associated inflammation and avoid reinjury.

What is a heel spur? What are symptoms of a heel spur?

A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth of the bone of the heel (the calcaneus bone). They are attributed to chronic local inflammation at the insertion of soft tissue tendons or fascia in the area. Heel spurs can be located at the back of the heel or under the heel, beneath the sole of the foot. Heel spurs at the back of the heel are frequently associated with inflammation of the Achilles tendon (tendinitis) and cause tenderness and pain at the back of the heel made worse while pushing off the ball of the foot.

Picture of the metatarsal (foot) and calcaneus (heel) bones, the plantar fascia ligament, and the Achilles tendon of the lower leg and foot


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Plantar Fasciitis - Treatment Question: What treatment was effective for your plantar fasciitis?

Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis

Most practitioners agree that treatment for plantar fasciitis is a slow process. Improvement usually takes six to 12 weeks, and the condition may still linger, at a lower level of pain, for up to six months or longer. If these more conservative measures don't provide relief in a reasonable length of time, your doctor may suggest surgical options.

The most common surgery for plantar fasciitis is called a plantar fascia release, which involves releasing a portion of the plantar fascia from the heel bone. A plantar fascia release can be performed as a traditional surgery through a regular incision or as endoscopic surgery, where a tiny incision allows a miniature scope to be inserted and surgery to be performed.

About one in 20 patients with plantar fasciitis will need surgery. As with any surgery, there is a chance that you will continue to have pain afterwards.

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