What Causes Heel Spurs?

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

    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.

Ask the experts

What are the most frequent and infrequent causes of heel spurs?

Doctors response

Heel spurs are caused by inflammation at the point of insertion of tissues or tendons at the heel bone (calcaneus bone). Inflammation can occur at these sites from injury (such as from the stresses of athletics) or from inflammatory disease (such as reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis).

Inflammation that leads to heel spur formation on the bottom of the heel is called plantar fasciitis. Inflammation that leads to heel spur formation at the back of the heel is called Achilles tendinitis.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018