A bone spur on the calcaneous, or heel bone, is commonly called a heel spur. A heel spur will sometimes rub on and irritate the surrounding soft tissues causing them to become inflamed, especially the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that helps create the arch in the human foot. The most common heel spur symptoms include pain, which occurs mainly in the foot, but it can also spread to the legs and back if the condition is not treated. Other heel spur symptoms include swelling and inflammation of the Achilles tendon or plantar fascia.
Probably the most common of all of the heel spur symptoms is heel pain. This pain is often described as a sharp or stabbing pain. It is typically felt around the heel of either foot.
At first, pain is usually most frequently felt in the morning after a person wakes up and takes his first steps of the day. After walking for a bit, the pain will generally dissipate as the soft tissue adjusts and moves to accommodate the bony growth. If not treated right away, these heel spur symptoms may worsen. For example, a person may wake up every morning with severe heel pain instead of a few mornings per week. Pain may also begin happening after other periods of inactivity, such as sitting or lying down for a short amount of time.
As time goes on, heel spur symptoms will usually worsen and pain will begin to spread to other parts of the body. People with severe heel pain may begin to change their walking style. This change in a person's natural stride can begin to cause stress on the knees, hips, and back, eventually causing pain there as well.
Heel spur symptoms can also include swelling of certain areas. A heel spur that is located at the back of the heel bone can rub on and irritate the Achilles tendon, which is the tendon that join the calf muscles to the heel. Plantar faciitis is another common problem associated with heel spurs. This can occur when the heel spur rubs on the connective tissue, known as the plantar fascia, that helps form the arch of the foot. To avoid any further damage to any of these areas, treatment may be required.
Treatment for this condition typically begins by attempting to relieve the heel spur symptoms. Resting the affected foot is considered to be very important, according to most podiatry experts, as this will typically cause the inflammation to calm down and prevent any further injury. Ice and anti-inflammatory medications are also used to help relieve any swelling and inflammation. In severe cases, a patient may have to undergo a special surgery, known as osteophyte surgery to remove the bone spur from the heel.