Heel spurs

Heel spurs are small, bony growths on the underside of the heel bone. They usually are less than a quarter of an inch (6 mm) long, but they may be longer.

  • Most spurs do not cause weight-bearing problems when the person stands or moves.
  • In the past, experts thought that heel spurs caused heel pain and plantar fasciitis.

There is now some disagreement about heel spurs:

  • Some experts believe they may occur with plantar fasciitis but are unrelated to it. Others believe they cause heel pain, and some believe they are a natural result of aging.
  • In general, heel spurs are believed to be the result of the process of plantar fasciitis development, not the cause of it. They may occur due to inflammation and to the pulling of the plantar fascia on the heel bone.

Doctors agree that the appearance of heel spurs on an X-ray does not by itself mean that a person needs surgery. Some people have heel spurs and no pain; others have heel pain and no spurs.

Last Updated: July 16, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.