A bone spur can form on many parts of the body, including your feet. Treatment for bone spurs varies depending on the location and symptoms. Often, you can continue living your life and performing as normal without experiencing pain. If you notice swelling or begin feeling pain with ordinary movements, it might be time to see a specialist. Many treatment options are available, including removal. If you're experiencing symptoms and believe a bone spur is to blame, contact Dr. Lisa Schoene today to schedule a consultation.
What Is a Bone Spur?
A bone spur, or osteophyte, is a projection that develops along the edges of the bone. They typically form in the joints, where the bones meet. The most common cause is osteoarthritis. Bones spurs might not cause symptoms for years and require no treatment. Depending on where they're located, however, they might cause pain and affect your overall health, requiring treatment.
Certain activities can cause a bone spur to form on the top of your foot or even the side. A specialist, such as Dr. Schoene, can diagnose the issue and devise a treatment plan to get you back on your way to living a pain-free life.
How Do Bone Spurs Form?
A bone spur forms when the body attempts to repair itself, building what is essentially an extra bone. This can occur because of repeated rubbing, pressure, or stress on the area. Normal aging, sports or physical activity, high heels, and ill-fitting shoes can lead to bone spurs. Other causes include genetics, obesity, and even diet. Bone spurs can develop throughout the body, but at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Assoc., we specialize in those that occur on the heel.
Symptoms of a Bone Spur In the Foot
You might not realize you have a bone spur until you have an X-ray performed to diagnose another medical condition. These growths only cause issues when they're pressing on tendons, nerves, or other body structures. A bone spur on the side of the foot can lead to pain when wearing shoes due to pressure on the area. You might also experience:
- Pain in the affected joint.
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling if a nerve is affected.
- Stiffness when attempting to bend or flex your foot.
- A noticeable bump under the skin.
- Muscle cramps or weakness.
- Difficulty moving if the bone spur breaks off and becomes stuck.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to see a specialist. Dr. Schoene and her team will evaluate to see if a bone spur is causing your symptoms. This typically requires a physical exam and imaging, such as X-rays. The team uses their findings to develop a treatment plan to help rid you of the pain you might be experiencing.
Treatment Options for a Bone Spur
Bone spurs that aren't causing pain or damage to surrounding tissue rarely require treatment. However, you can try various treatment options for a bone spur to help relieve your symptoms. Rest and taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium might help reduce pain and swelling. These short-term solutions might provide relief until you can seek further treatment.
If OTC medication and rest fail, you can try physical therapy to help increase movement and strength or a steroid injection to reduce pain and swelling in the area. If these methods don't work, your bone spur becomes worse, or it begins to affect your movement, you might need surgery to remove the bone.
Surgery for Bone Spur
If you're not responding well to noninvasive treatment options, you might need to consider bone spur removal. Dr. Schoene treats various foot and ankle conditions and specializes in bone spur surgery of the foot. This surgery involves making small incisions near where the bone spur is located. Dr. Schoene then uses small tools to remove the excess piece of bone. This surgery can either be open surgery, using a larger incision and a scalpel, or endoscopic, using small incisions and a narrow scope. The surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you'll be able to return home the same day.
Recovery After Bone Spur Surgery
Bone spur foot surgery recovery time varies depending on where it was located and the type of bone spur removal surgery you had. These tips can help you get back on your feet, literally, as quickly as possible:
- Rest, especially the first day or so after your surgery. Getting enough sleep is key to a quick recovery.
- Stay active, within reason.
- Take your post-op medications as prescribed. Taking pain medications as directed will help prevent breakthrough pain.
- Keep your incision site dry and clean.
You will receive additional instructions to take home at the time of your procedure. Call our office immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Excessive bleeding, such as bleeding through your bandage.
- Red streaks from the incision site.
- Drainage or pus coming from the incision.
- A fever.
- Increased pain or swelling with warmth or redness.
- Any other signs of infection.
You'll return to our office for a follow-up after your surgery to have any sutures removed and to assess your recovery. Most people can return to work within 14 days, depending on their job requirements.
How Do You Prevent a Bone Spur?
Bone spurs caused by genetics or a condition such as arthritis cause aren't usually preventable. You can attempt to prevent a bone spur by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a well-rounded diet with plenty of vitamin D and calcium.
- Wearing protective shoes with sufficient cushion.
- Exercising regularly to help keep your muscles and bones strong.
Contact Dr. Schoene at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Assoc.
If you're experiencing pain and believe you might have a bone spur, reach out to Dr. Schoene at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine today. With her expert team of support staff, Dr. Schoene will develop a treatment plan to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. You can chat with someone online or give our office a call at 847-263-6073.