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Heel Spurs

Heel Spur Facts

  • A heel spur appears on an X-ray as a pointed bony outgrowth of the bone of the heel (the calcaneus bone).
  • Heel spurs under the sole of the foot (plantar area) are associated with plantar fasciitis.
  • Heel spurs on the back of the heel are often associated with Achilles tendonitis/tendonosis.
  • Heel spurs can occur alone or be related to underlying diseases.
  • Heel spurs are treated by measures that decrease the associated pain or inflammation and avoid reinjury.

What Are Heel Spurs?

A heel spur is a bony outgrowth of the calcaneus bone in the heel. Heel spurs are attributed to chronic local inflammation at the insertion of soft-tissue ligaments or fascia in the area. Heel spurs can be located at the back of the heel or under the heel, beneath the sole of the foot. Heel spurs at the back of the heel are frequently associated with inflammation of the Achilles tendon (tendinitis) and cause tenderness and pain at the back of the heel that's made worse while pushing off the ball of the foot.

What Causes Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs are most commonly caused by strain injury of the tendons and tissues that attach to the heel bone (calcaneus). This can occur after repetitive athletic stress or strain injury. Heel spurs can also be caused by inflammatory diseases, including reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.

Last Reviewed 9/11/2017

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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Heel Spurs - Home Remedies

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Heel Spurs - Symptoms and Signs

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Diagnosis of Heel Spurs

Ultrasound

Ultrasound (also termed sonography, ultrasonography, and Doppler study) is a non-invasive diagnostic medical technique that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images (sonogram) of the internal structures of the body. These sound waves are not detectable by human hearing.

Using an ultrasound machine (ultrasonography), a technician or doctor moves a device called a transducer (probe) over part of your body. The transducer emits sound waves which bounce off the internal tissues, and creates images from the waves that bounce back. Different densities of tissues, fluid, and air inside the body produce different images that can be interpreted by a physician, typically a radiologist (a physician who specializes in imaging technologies). Many studies are done by a trained technologist (sonographer) and then interpreted by a radiologist.



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