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.
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.
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.