Do you have a painful bone spur and you want to find some relief? Well, after forming, that bone spur won’t disappear without intervention. Still, you don’t have to spend the rest of your life dealing with the pain of this bony bump. And, you won’t need to have surgery to find relief. So, what are your treatment options? And why did this problem develop in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
All About the Bone Spur
While bone spurs look like hard bumps, they’re actually formed from excess bone that builds up on top of another bone. Most often, these buildups happen around your joints or ridges in your existing bones. But, wherever they form, you’ll know that spot on your foot is dealing with pressure, or has been subjected to tension or trauma. (In some cases, osteoarthritis can also cause a spur to develop.)
For that reason, bone spurs are most common in high pressure zones such as the back of your heel, the tops of your toes, or the top of your foot. Now, while unsightly, bone spurs aren’t actually a medical concern. In fact, like corns or calluses, these bony bumps are actually meant to protect your feet from pressure or injury. However, if left untreated, heel spurs can develop inflammation. Plus, they may rub against your shoes, becoming further inflamed and causing pain every time you slip on your kicks or try to walk around. At that point, you’ll need some form of bone spur treatment in order to relieve your pain and pressure.
Can you Treat a Bone Spur without Surgery?
As we mentioned, the only way to find relief from the pain and inflammation is to treat your bone spurs. But surgery isn’t your only path to relief. In fact, we have plenty of treatments that can relieve pain. However, the only way to physically remove that bump is to undergo surgery. And we’ll review that option in a moment. First, though, let’s explore less invasive treatment plans.
Conservative bone spur treatment is meant to target pain and inflammation. We can accomplish those goals with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. Shoe changes can also help improve comfort levels by making more space for your bone spur. Then, if painful rubbing is still a problem, we can also add padding to your shoes, or directly pad the spur, in order to stop this pain trigger. Finally, in order to relieve the pressure that caused your bone spur to develop, we can fit you for custom orthotics. In addition to relieving some of your existing pain, wearing these medical insoles consistently can keep that spur from getting any bigger.
Now, in combination, these treatment methods should relieve discomfort. But, even so, when you look down at your foot, you’ll still see a bone spur. In other words, you don’t need to remove a bone or heel spur in order to relieve your pain. However, if the actual bump is still bothering you, we will have to schedule surgery in order to remove the physical bump from your heel or foot.
Surgical Bone Spur Treatment
For patients who want to restore their former foot silhouette, or for those whose spurs are exacerbating other conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, surgery will be the best treatment option.
So, what can you expect when you schedule a bone spur surgery? Before your procedure, Dr. Alvin Cowans, our podiatrist in Powder Springs, will schedule you for x-rays and any other relevant foot scans. These results will help determine the full extent of your spur development. That way, we can determine if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, open surgery, or if you’ll need a different treatment plan altogether. And we’ll determine the exact course of treatment once you come into our podiatry practice in the Lost Mountain neighborhood of Powder Springs for a pre-operative consultation.
Bone Spur Treatment: What to Expect After Surgery
After removing your bone spurs surgically, we’ll need to take measures to ensure that they don’t return again. And, the methods we use to do that will depend on the reason your spurs formed in the first place.
Now, if arthritis caused your bone spur, we’ll do our best to slow disease progression. But your bone spur may eventually return. If, however, your foot mechanics or external pressure caused spur formation, then we can take measures to keep bone spurs from recurring. One way to do so will be to fit you for custom orthotics, since they are crafted to fit the exact structure of your foot and ankle, so they offer support exactly where you need it, eliminating undue pressure on any one spot on your foot. When you regularly wear your orthotics after surgery, these devices should prevent your bone spurs from coming back.
Now, we know that each patient’s foot is different. And we know that your lifestyle differs from your neighbors, or from that of anyone else in that practice. For that reason, we craft unique bone spur treatment plans for every one who comes in complaining about this deformity.
Have you noticed a bump on the back of your heel, the top of your foot, or anywhere on your body? It could be a bone spur—and it won’t go away on its own. In fact, without treatment, bone spurs can become inflamed and painful, making it difficult to walk, run, or even put on your favorite pair of shoes.
Want to prevent all that pain and treat your bone spur without surgery? Don't wait until that bump is big and intrusive. Instead, schedule an immediate appointment at Optimum Podiatry. When you make an appointment before your spur is large and painful, we can offer conservative treatment options and help you avoid surgery. But even if surgery is your best option, we’ll craft a treatment plan that causes the least disruption to your daily life.