The old way of treating heel spur patients was to:
- Consult patients about their symptoms, which often included painful inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot and heel.
- Perform an X-ray of the area and try to identify a heel spur. These calcium deposits typically protrude forward from the back of the heel.
- Conduct a surgery to remove the protrusion with the goal of eliminating pain or discomfort.
That was then. This is now, and treatment options have fortunately changed.
Heel Spur Treatment
Surgery makes a significant impact in a patient’s ability to move around. Typically, a podiatrist will recommend staying off your feet for a period of time that can last over one month. That’s why it’s very important that treatment is as specific and conservative as possible.
A heel spur is a good example. Surgery can remove the bone protrusion, but it is often possible to eliminate symptoms without this type of procedure.
Dr. Rachel Verville will usually treat a heel spur in the same manner as basic plantar fasciitis. She may recommend exercise; orthotics; or anti-inflammatory medication or injections. These lower-impact approaches can significantly reduce a patient’s discomfort, often in the same amount of time or less that a surgery would require for healing.
Combine Treatment Options
Dr. Verville can start patients off with a more conservative method, such as the measures described above. She may also recommend stretches that improve the tendon’s flexibility; changing footwear; taping the foot; or physical therapy. Each of these steps individually can reduce discomfort, and when combined, may eliminate it altogether.
Patients generally check in with Dr. Verville to let her know about their progress with these measures. If the pain continues and their comfort hasn’t been reduced, Dr. Verville can consult with them to review the surgical option.
All of Dr. Verville’s heel spur surgeries take place in a local accredited surgical center. As with every surgery, patients receive assistance from a board-certified anesthesiologist, whose experience and monitoring ensure a high level of care.
Before the procedure, Dr. Verville informs patients about what to expect during and after surgery. She will also recommend steps that patients can take to recover from their heel spur surgery.