Bone spurs (also called osteophytes) are smooth, hard bumps of extra bone that form on the ends of bones. They often pop up in the joints – where two bones meet.
Bone spurs can form on many parts of your body, including your feet or heels.
Most bone spurs don’t cause problems. But if they rub against other bones or press on nerves, you might experience pain and stiffness.
The most common cause of bone spurs is joint damage from osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. The cushioning between your joints and the bones of your spine can wear down with age. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and goutcan also damage your joints.
Bone spurs also often form after an injury to a joint or tendon. When your body thinks your bone is damaged, it tries to fix it by adding bone to the injured area.
Other causes of bone spurs include:
Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
The pain and stiffness you feel in your feet and ankles as you age could be arthritis. If left untreated, this nagging pain can get worse over time, eventually making it difficult to walk even short distances.
Big Toe Arthritis (Hallux Rigidus)
Hallux rigidus is arthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe.
Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause a sensation of sudden burning, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joint (usually the big toe).
Great Big Toe Joint Disorder
Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the great big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage cushions the bones during movement.
Bone Spurs only cause problems when they press on nerves, tendons, or other structures in your body. You might feel:
Your symptoms might get worse when you exercise or try to move the affected joint.
A bone spur can break off and get stuck in the lining of the joint. This is called a “loose body.”It can lock up the joint and make it hard to move.
Acute pain usually comes on suddenly in response to an injury and may come and go. The sensation may be similar to coming into contact with a sharp object.
Bone protrusions occur when the broken end of the tibia (shinbone) has torn through the soft tissues and is protruding through the skin.
Changes In Skin Appearance
Changes in the appearance of your skin, such as texture or color, are a result of poor circulation in the arteries and veins.
Inflammation is a process by which the white blood cells, and substances they produce, protect us from an infection of foreign organisms, such as bacteria.
Loss of Movement
Weakness, tingling or numbness may be exclusive to specific movements that engage the foot and ankle, such as lifting the foot or standing.
Numbness, or tingling, is often described as a “pins and needles” sensation. Although temporary, this may cause pain or discomfort.
If the bone spur affects your movement, you might need surgery to remove the extra bone.
If you catch and treat arthritis early, you may be able to prevent the damage that leads to bone spurs. You can also take steps to avoid other causes of bone spurs including:
See your doctor if you have any signs of joint trouble, like pain, swelling, or stiffness.