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Family Foot & Ankle

Is Surgery Needed if I Have a Heel Spur?

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Is Surgery Needed if I Have a Heel Spur?Heel spurs, bony deposits of calcium that build up on your heel bone due to repeated trauma, are fairly common among suffers of plantar fasciitis-related heel pain, though you probably won’t know they are there unless you get an X-ray. Naturally, one of the first thoughts you might have after discovering one is whether you’ll need surgery to remove it.

Although we can’t make a determination one way or the other before conducting a full evaluation, the good news is that most patients with heel spurs will not need any kind of surgical procedure. These bony outgrowths are often not painful in and of themselves (the pain is usually due to plantar fasciitis or a related issue, rather than the spurs) and even if they are, conservative treatments do the trick more often than not.

Because this condition can have many different causes, the precise method of treatment may vary. Arch supports or orthotics might be best for those with flat feet, while stretching and physical therapy might be well-suited to those with tight Achilles tendons. In many cases, heel cups or extra padding inside your shoes provide all the extra cushioning you need, and management of risk factors (staying healthy, managing sugar if you have diabetes) prevents the issue from getting worse.

However, in relatively rare cases (fewer than 1 in 10) these procedures may not be enough to provide adequate relief, and in these circumstances we will consider surgery. Typically, this will entail removing the deposited bone growth, and may also involve a loosening of the plantar fascia tissue that runs along your arch from toes to heel. Surgery is highly effective, but, as with any operation, it comes with certain risks and will involve a recovery period with specific post-operative instructions to follow.

Hopefully it won’t come to that, but even if it does, know that you’re in good hands with Family Foot and Ankle Center. Our expert podiatrists will carefully and closely evaluate your condition and work with you to develop the most effective treatment plan for your lifestyle goals. If you’re dealing with heel spur pain, there is an answer—give us a call today at (513) 728-4800 in Ohio, or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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