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Specialists in the Field of Heel Spur
Information About the Field of Heel Spur
What Is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur refers to a bony prominence on the heel bone that often causes pain. A heel spur usually forms on the bottom of the foot, where a ligamentous structure (plantar aponeurosis) stabilizes the longitudinal arch of the foot.
However, a spur can also form on the back of the heel bone in the area of the Achilles tendon attachment. The heel spur is quite common, is found more often in the group of 40 to 60-year-old patients, and can be an incidental finding in an X-ray image without causing symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms
The symptoms are, especially in the beginning, load-dependent, stabbing pain in the heel area, which increases with prolonged load. As it progresses, pain at rest may also occur.
The causes of a heel spur are varied. For example, being overweight and a foot malposition with weakness of the foot arch (for example, in the case of a drop foot) can have a favorable effect.
But other incorrect stresses, e.g., caused by poor footwear, prolonged periods of standing work, or a lack of warming up before sports activity, can also be causative factors. In addition, the incorrect load causes minor damages where calcium can be deposited and ossified in the process. This tough structure then causes discomfort.
How Is a Heel Spur Diagnosed?
A physician's detailed questioning (medical history) usually provides the diagnosis, a clinical examination, and an imaging procedure such as an X-ray or ultrasound. X-rays and ultrasounds are also used to exclude other possible diseases ( fractures or chronic inflammation).
Heel Spur Treatment
After diagnosis, appropriate therapy can be initiated. In general, conservative, non-surgical methods have priority.
Often, shoe insoles that spare the spur area are beneficial and can reduce the pain well. In addition, improvement can be achieved for a specific time with painkillers and cooling. Basically, in the course, physiotherapy and foot exercises are also recommended to improve the arch of the foot.
Suppose these measures do not bring sufficient improvement. In that case, the spur can still be subjected to controlled radiation or extracorporeal shock wave therapy (this can be thought of as an ultrasound examination).
Heel Spur Surgery
In rare cases, surgery can also be considered. In this case, the spur can be removed, or parts of the foot can be relieved by splitting connective tissue (fasciotomy). However, the follow-up rate and unsuccessfulness are quite high.
The Course of the Disease and Prognosis
Typically, conservative therapy methods can already achieve good results, and a progression can be prevented. However, it is recommended to do regular foot gymnastics in the further course, possibly to reduce weight and to pay attention to suitable footwear.
Which Doctors Diagnoses and Treats a Heel Spur?
For diseases of the musculoskeletal system, orthopedic specialists are the first point of contact. However, if you have symptoms, you can also go to your general practitioner, who can refer you to an orthopedist.
We will help you find an expert for your condition. All listed doctors and clinics have been reviewed by us for their outstanding specialization in heel spurs and are awaiting your inquiry or treatment request.
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