Heel Spurs (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
- Heel spurs & plantar fasciitis facts
- What is a heel spur? What are symptoms of a heel spur?
- How do heel spurs relate to plantar fasciitis? What causes heel spurs and plantar fasciitis?
- How are heel spurs and plantar fasciitis diagnosed?
- How are heel spurs and plantar fasciitis treated?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis?
- Can heel spurs and plantar fasciitis be prevented?
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
How are heel spurs and plantar fasciitis treated?
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are treated by measures that decrease the associated inflammation and avoid reinjury. Local ice applications both reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy methods, including stretching exercises, are used to treat and prevent plantar fasciitis. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or injections of cortisone, are often helpful.
Orthotic devices or shoe inserts are used to take pressure off plantar spurs (donut-shaped insert), and heel lifts can reduce stress on the Achilles tendon to relieve painful spurs at the back of the heel. Similarly, sports running shoes with soft, cushioned soles can be helpful in reducing irritation of inflamed tissues from both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Infrequently, surgery is performed on chronically inflamed spurs.
What is the prognosis (outlook) of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis?
The outlook is generally good. The inflammation usually responds to conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Infrequently, surgical intervention is necessary.
Can heel spurs and plantar fasciitis be prevented?
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can only be prevented by treating any underlying associated inflammatory disease.
Previous contributing editor: Dennis Lee, MD
Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
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