Bone spurs can develop almost anywhere on the foot. They are often a reaction to pressure or a result of an arthritic change near a joint. The term "bone spur" is often used to describe multiple types of foot problems. The term "calcium deposit" is sometimes used to describe a bone spur.
A heel spur is a horizontal projection of bone growth, extending forward from the bottom of the calcaneus or heel bone. It can be quite painful, and is often associated with plantar fasciitis. They can exist on one or both heels, and take many years to develop. Even though this type of spur can be present for a long time, it may not be painful until it reaches a certain size. The diagnosis is made from a lateral view x-ray of the foot.
Bone spurs around the toes are often present around the bunion joint (1st metatarsophanageal joint) or within the toes themselves. In the front part (the forefoot) spurs are often associated with a corn or callous. The medical terminology for a corn or callous is a hyperkeratosis. These types of spurs can often be felt through the skin, and are also visible on x-ray. Toe bone spurs can be painful with shoe pressure.
Treatment choices range from conservative to more aggressive surgical options. Initially, trimming the corn or callous on the skin can be effective. However, since the skin problem is actually caused by the underlying spur, bony smoothing of the spur usually cures this type of problem.
An irritation can develop on the top of the foot in the area of the arch. This area becomes painful when the shoe laces are tied or with pressure from a slip-on shoe. Examination of this area often shows redness of the skin and hardness beneath the skin. This is associated with a spur or overgrowth of bone in the midfoot area. The most common location is at the joint between the first metatarsal and the first cuneiform bones. The spur development is associated with arthritis in the area.
The treatment of this problem often requires surgery. The excessive build-up of bone needs to be removed by smoothing or filing the enlargement.