Bone Spur on Top of Foot

Osteophyte or bone spur, is an irregular growth of an extra bone when the body tries repairing a problem. Bone spurs can happen in any bone, though they are common in joints and are more probable to develop in some body parts than others. The foot is a common region where bone spurs mostly develop, and besides the heel spurs, they are also common in the center of the foot and toes.

Causes of Bone Spur on Feet

Bone spurs of the foot develop when the body tries repairing or building up an extra bone. The damage is basically because of the stress or pressure exerted on the bone often for lengthy periods of time. As a result, calcium-one grows in the main bone components that aid in keeping it strong. What develops on this affected bone is known as a bone spur. If this bone spur grows from one joint on top of the midfoot, it is referred to as a tarsal boss. A toe spur is a bone spur on the outside or inside of toes.

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All the factors that create lots of friction in the foot can cause a toe spur or a tarsal boss. Individuals with arches in their foot which are either lower or higher than normal, particularly runners, are at a very great risk of this condition. Running or walking in normal shoes with these kinds of feet can lead to joints and bones rubbing against each other and may cause tarsal boss. Arthritis can also create a similar impact, because it creates the cartilage that usually guards bones from wearing away. Again, the bones will touch and a spur will develop in the toes or midfoot.

Other risk factors that can create bone spurs of the foot include:

  • Charcot foot: a condition which leads bones weaknesses in the foot because of nerve damage
  • Aging
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Infections
  • Wearing shoes that pinch the toes or too tight.


Symptoms of Bone Spur on Foot

Bone spurs in the feet do not always lead to symptoms. When the toe spur or tarsal boss leads to pain, it is normally due to the pressure or rubbing against another surface or of wearing tight shoes. Symptoms are likely to start as soreness or aching on top of the toes or the midfoot. The pain can range from severe to mild, but in general gets worse or occurs when one wears certain shoes that are very restrictive or tight. Other signs include:

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  • Swelling or redness
  • A corn identical to a callus between toes or on toes
  • Loss of motion or stiffness of ankles or toes
  • Difficulty functioning or walking normally because of pain as well as loss of movement

 Treatment of Bone Spur

Because bone spurs found in the feet do not create issues at all time, treatment is not required in every instance. You must see a physician like podiatrist for an examination when the bone spur in very painful or when it continues to get worse and grow, or when it hinders you from functioning typically. The doctor will ask a few questions related to the feet and will normally identify the bone spur on the top of the patient’s toes or foot by keen examination of the place.

X-rays and other tests can also be done to establish the precise location and size of the spur and to look out for other condition that can also be present. Bone spurs are normally accompanied by corns, bursitis and other conditions which can lead to additional issues, so it is advisable to establish if other problems are making the spur worse.

Many bone spurs of feet can be treated non-surgically with a few basic alterations that can bring down the pressure on the spur and surgery is rarely required. Even though the conservative treatment procedures will not remove the bone spur, it will help relieve pain as well as other symptoms and make the foot or toe easy to function.

Below are a few of the efficient conservative treatment methods that can be recommended by the doctor:


Padding: For the tarsal bone, putting an orthopedic padding between the shoe tongue and the bump will help relieve some pressure from the shoes.

Icing or heating: The doctor can recommend application of ice or heat to the bone spur when the symptoms start arising

Changing footwear: In the event that the shoes are the cause of the problem, you must change to wearing shoes which are less restrictive to the foot and toes. It is advisable to have a wide and high toe box and also stiff soles.

Injections: When the pain gets worse, an injection, normally a steroid known as cortisone will be injected directly to the bone spur for momentary relief.

Losing weight: For the overweight patients, the doctor will advise them to lose weight so as to bring down the pressure exerted on the feet.

Walking boots: This item on its own will not make the bone spur disappear. This boot will come in handy prior to or after surgery to aid in taking pressure from the affected area.

When pain continues getting worse and the bone spur continues growing besides the conservative treatment procedures, the patient will have to consider surgery.


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