An infracalcaneal exostosis is a term that describes a large bony prominence or spur on the bottom of the heel bone or calcaneus. In some patients, this bone spur can actually be large enough to be felt on the bottom of the heel.
The bone spur is caused by traction or pulling on the heel bone or calcaneus by tiny muscles on the bottom of the foot. Many people correlate “heel spurs” with plantar fasciitis. This is a false statement. The plantar fascia in actuality, inserts just lateral to the plantar heel spur.
Most patients have 1 – 1.5 inches of fat pad on the bottom of the heel that aids in cushioning and shock absorption for the calcaneus. In older patients who have experienced atrophy or thinning of the fat pad, the bone spur can be prominent and very painful.
Treatment includes cushioning of the infracalcaneal exostosis, wearing appropriate shoe gear to soften the impact of the heel with walking or running.
For those patient who cannot find relief cushioning, padding or shoe therapy, surgery is a viable option. Surgery involves removing the plantar heel spur or infracalcaneal exostosis and making the bottom surface of the heel bone flat and smooth. A extended period of non-weightbearing is suggested due to possible risk of stress fracture with early weight bearing following the surgery.
If you have a prominent heel spur on the bottom of the heel, please visit our office for a clinical evaluation. Call 972-542-2155 for an appointment today.