What To Expect From Heel Spur Surgery

Posted on: 14 July 2021

Heel spurs can be quite painful. If you've tried various stretches, therapeutic shoes, splints, and exercises — but to no avail — then your best option may be surgery. This surgery can be performed by an orthopedic or podiatric surgeon. It's not uncommon or invasive, but it's still nice to know what to expect. 

Preparing for Heel Spur Surgery

If your current podiatrist does not perform surgery, then you will need to have a consultation with a surgeon before you schedule your heel spur surgery. The surgeon will look over any X-rays that you've had taken, and they'll talk to you about your symptoms and the treatments you have already tried. Based on their observations and this conversation, they'll let you know whether they agree that surgery is the right move. And if they do agree, they'll schedule your procedure.

Heel spur surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. So, to prepare, you will need to fast for 12 hours or as long as recommended by your doctor. You may also need to stop taking certain medications, like anti-clotting medications, before surgery, too.

Undergoing Surgery

Once you are under anesthesia, your surgeon will make two small incisions in the bottom of your foot. Through one incision, the surgeon will insert a small camera known as an endoscope. Through the other incision, the surgeon will insert a small cutting instrument. With the guidance of the camera, your surgeon will then shave off or cut off the projection of bony tissue on the bottom of your heel bone. 

After the heel spur has been worn away, the doctor will remove the tools and close your incisions. This is usually done with a surgical adhesive, as sutures sometimes pull out from the bottom of the foot.

Recovering From Surgery

Full recovery from heel spur surgery usually takes about three months. But don't let that estimate scare you too much. Most patients can be back on their feet with the help of a boot and crutches within a few weeks. Unless you have a very physically active job, you can probably return to work after two or three weeks. As you recover, you can use ice and pain relievers to alleviate inflammation and discomfort. 

Heel spurs can be pretty painful for their tiny size. If your heel spurs are stubborn and are resisting treatment, talk to your podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon about surgical treatments.