Heel Spurs Specialist

Chicagoland Foot and Ankle

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Specialists & Surgeons located in Beverly/Mt. Greenwood, Portage Park Chicago, IL & Orland Park, IL & New Lenox, IL

About 1 in 10 adults have heel spurs, which are bony protrusions on the heel bone. Heel spurs can sometimes cause serious heel pain, and they often occur alongside plantar fasciitis. At Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, with locations in the Beverly/Mt. Greenwood and Portage Park areas of Chicago, as well as Orland Park and New Lenox, Illinois, the board-certified podiatrists use advanced on-site imaging to diagnose your heel spur. Then, they prescribe state-of-the-art treatment solutions to help you stay active and pain-free. Call the office or use online scheduling for an appointment.

Heel Spurs Q&A

What are heel spurs?

Heel spurs are small bonelike protrusions that can develop on the bottom of your calcaneus (heel bone). Heel spurs usually look like little hooks when seen on an X-ray, but they're not obvious from the outside. 

If you have a particularly large heel spur, you might be able to feel it through your skin when you palpate the bottom of your heel. Some heel spurs cause stabbing pain in your heel. Only about one in 20 heel spurs causes heel pain. Most are asymptomatic. 

But, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis co-occur very frequently, and plantar fasciitis is almost always a very painful condition that requires expert medical care. 

What causes heel spurs?

Heel spurs, like plantar fasciitis, often develop because of plantar fascia ligament strain. Tears in the membrane encasing your calcaneus can also lead to heel spurs.  

Certain factors increase your risk for heel spurs:

  • Unusually high foot arches
  • Flat feet
  • Obesity
  • Inward-turning feet
  • Long periods of standing
  • Distance running or other intense athletics
  • Increasing your exercise suddenly

Heel spurs don't always develop if you have these issues. Even if they do develop, you might never know about the heel spurs unless you need X-ray imaging of the heel for another reason. 

If you're at risk for heel spurs, the Chicagoland Foot and Ankle team can help with preventive care like changing your footgear, wearing custom orthotics, and changing up your exercise routine.

How do you treat heel spurs?

After a clinical foot exam followed by diagnostic X-rays and ultrasound imaging tests on-site, the Chicagoland Foot and Ankle team recommends the optimal treatment approach for your heel spurs. 

Asymptomatic heel spurs may not require any treatment. If your heel spur causes pain, the team typically prescribes non-surgical modalities such as oral anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and custom orthotics. 

For severe heel spur pain that doesn’t improve with other methods, the team may recommend steroid injections, which can yield relief for several months or longer. Heel spurs very rarely require surgical removal. 

The Chicagoland Foot and Ankle podiatrists sympathize with your heel pain, and they understand how it’s interrupting your active life. Reach out and get heel spur pain relief by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online appointment scheduler.