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Treatment of Calcaneal Spur

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The treatment of calcaneal spur of heel spur may be non-surgical of surgical. Depending on the symptoms and seriousness of the condition, your doctor may advice either of the treatment modalities.

Non-surgical management of calcaneal spur:

Commonly your doctor or health care provider will give you non-surgical treatment first. Rest may not help, because if there is plantar fasciitis along with calcaneal spur, the fascia get elongated/stretched in the next morning and cause pain. Sometimes pain may reduce on walking for some time, but in such cases the pain recur after prolonged rest. Hence not very much useful.

Medications used for treatment of pain are helpful for calcaneal spur too, including over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen etc. The management with medication should also be accompanied by stretching exercise, change to properly fit and soft soled shoes, providing rest to muscles and tendons of foot by taping and strapping, physiotherapy and use of shoe inserts and orthotic devices. Ultimately during management of calcaneal spur by non-surgical method, it is to be remembered that the problem is mainly due to inflammation of soft tissues of foot (such as plantar fascia, and other soft tissues) and the inflammation need to be addressed. The cause of the inflammation need to be looked for and treated, if possible, removed.

Surgical treatment of calcaneal spur:

Majority of patients (more than 90%) with calcaneal spur improves symptomatically with conservative non-surgical management. Patients not showing any symptomatic improvement even after 9-12 months of conservative non-surgical management, surgical management need to be considered. The aim of surgical treatment of calcaneal spur is to improve mobility and improve symptoms (mainly relief from pain).

Common surgical procedures involve removal of the calcaneal spur and release of the inflamed plantar fascia. Plantar fascia release may be associated with side effects such as foot instability, stress fracture, tendinitis, foot cramps etc.

Prevention of calcaneal spur:

  • If you are at greater risk of developing calcaneal spur, it is important that you take preventive measures. Preventive measures include, wearing of shoes that fit well and have shock absorbent soles, proper arching of sole, heel support etc.
  • Select appropriate type of shoes for exercise, warm-up, stretching and running. Avoid shoes that wear out excessively in heel area. Always use right kind of shoes.
  • Reduce body weight if you are obese, as obesity is a causative factor for calcaneal spur.
  • If possible, correct your gait by getting gait training.
  • Control your diabetes.
  • Wear right kind of shoes if your duty involves standing for long hours.

 

“Image courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

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