Medical Q&As

Heel spur - very painful?

I have just been told that I have a bony growth called a spur under my foot. I am in a lot of pain with it. Any suggestions?

The heel spur that you refer to is a result of a condition called plantar fasciitis, which means inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a layer of tissue that supports the longitudinal arch in the foot and extends from the calcaneus or heel bone to the ball of the foot. When the foot is planted firmly on the ground a great deal of force is exerted on the plantar fascia. This can result in great stress on the point of attachment of the fascia to the calcaneus, which can result in small tears in the fascia. The body then attempts to heal these tears and over time these healed areas can become calcified and create a small spur that can be detected on x-ray. I have already dealt with a similar query in a previous Ask the Doctor question. This information can be accessed at: http://www.irishhealth.com/askdoc03.html?f_qid=1394.