Bone Spurs in Foot

If you have pain in the bottom of your heel, it could be caused by a bone spur. A bone spur is an outgrowth of bone that can occur along the edges of a bone. It is also called an osteophyte. One of the most common places to have a bone spur is in the heel, often called a heel spur.

What causes bone spurs?

Bone spurs are caused when there is long-term stress on your bone caused by arthritis or inflammation. A common cause of heel spurs is plantar fasciitis, which happens when the thick tissue located on the bottom of your foot (called the plantar fascia) becomes swollen and inflamed from overuse.

How do I know if I have a bone spur?

You may have a bone spur and not have any symptoms at all. However, if your bone spur begins to rub against other tissue in your body, you may feel pain when you walk or move. 

If you have pain that happens every time you walk or move, talk to your doctor about possible causes. Your doctor may order an X-ray to diagnose a bone spur.

Will my bone spur go away?

Non-surgical treatment options will usually improve symptoms of a bone spur. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Physical therapy to help strengthen the surrounding muscles and relieve related symptoms.
  • Shoe inserts, called orthotics, to pad the heel area
  • Steroid injections to the joint to reduce pain.

In some cases, non-surgical treatments will help to relieve your pain from bone spurs. To request an appointment please call our Sports Medicine team at (859) 212-5600.

If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at