Bone Spurs - Cause

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What causes bone spurs?

Bone spurs are usually caused by local inflammation, such as from degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) or tendinitis. This inflammation stimulates the cells that form bone to deposit bone in this area, eventually leading to a bony prominence or spur. For example, inflammation of the ligament that surrounds a degenerating disc between the vertebrae (the bony building blocks of the spine) is a very common cause of bone spurs of the spine. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon can lead to the formation of a bone spur at the back of the heel bone (calcaneus bone). Inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis, can lead to a bone spur at the underside of the heel bone. These bone spurs are sometimes referred to as heel spurs. A bone spur is medically referred to as an osteophyte. Rarely, bone spurs may occur as a result of congenital conditions. An osteochondroma is one type of these congenital spurs.

Picture of the metatarsal (foot) and calcaneus (heel) bones, the plantar fascia ligament, and the Achilles tendon of the lower leg and 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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See what others are saying

Comment from: skincare, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I had surgery on my first metatarsal bone four months ago. Post-op, I found out I have a stress fracture on the opposite side of my foot. Now I'm experiencing pain on the ball of my foot and my index toe has separated from my big toe. I need help in understanding this I'm so disgusted.

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Comment from: cutter, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 13

I have bone spurs on my spine and in both shoulder joints, the left being the worst. Anyone who has spurs knows how painful this is. Because I look healthy, I'm sure some people think I'm just exaggerating. I am just starting my journey of going to doctors and X-rays and ultrasound. So far cortisone injection has not helped. It takes so long to get appointments etc. I have heard from others and read that ice helps, so I will try this while I await my appointments. The cause of my spurs is as yet unidentified but as I have arthritis that may be it.

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