Heel Spurs

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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What is the treatment for heel spurs? Are there any home remedies for heel spurs?

Heel spurs are treated by measures that decrease the associated inflammation and avoid reinjury. Local ice applications both reduce pain and inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or injections of cortisone, are often helpful.

Orthotic devices or shoe inserts are used to take pressure off plantar spurs (donut-shaped insert), and heel lifts can reduce stress on the Achilles tendon to relieve painful spurs at the back of the heel. Similarly, sports running shoes with soft, cushioned soles can be helpful in reducing irritation of inflamed tissues from heel spurs. Infrequently, surgery is performed on chronically inflamed spurs.

What is the prognosis (outlook) of heel spurs?

The outlook is generally good. The inflammation usually responds to conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Infrequently, surgical intervention is necessary.

Is it possible to prevent heel spurs?

Treating any underlying associated inflammatory disease can prevent heel spurs.

REFERENCE:

Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/16/2015
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