x ray of heel osteophyte

Curious about the small pain in your foot? Bone spurs or Osteophyte foot formation could be the cause of this nuisance. Osteophyte could also be described as a bone spur that resides on top of the foot. These types of formations can form on the joint or the bones of the spine, but often form where two or more bones meet. Some common areas have been seen on the foot or heel, fingers or toes, lower back, knee, shoulder, or neck area. To put it simply, osteophyte formations or bone spurs are the growth of extra bone. 

Symptoms of Osteophyte

You might suspect you have an osteophyte growth or bone spur if you feel a bump or hard lump underneath your skin. It’s also good to keep in mind the following typical symptoms of this condition to recognize its presence:

  • There is pressure on nearby nerves.
  • Note a restriction in the movement in the area.
  • You can tell the area is rubbing against other bones or tissues. 
  • You note pain in or near the affected area. 

What Causes Osteophyte Foot Formation?

The main cause of osteophyte development is an injury or damage to the joint or area. It is also closely associated with osteoarthritis, meaning if you have this type of arthritis, where the cartilage deteriorates over time between bones, you will be at a greater risk for bone spurs. Other risk factors include:

Treating Osteophytes

Your treatment options for osteophytes on your foot can range from small lifestyle adjustments to surgical intervention. This is a painful condition that can negatively impact your everyday life if left untreated. Thankfully, you can often improve symptoms by doing the following:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce the inflammation in the area and take away the pain associated with this condition. 
  • Use ice to reduce swelling and help with the pain. 
  • Wear better-fitting shoes or those that are softer to relieve the increased pressure on the area. 
  • Treat calluses or corns if they develop as a result of a bone spur. This can be accomplished by wearing corn pads or having them shaved or filed. 
  • Physical therapy and specific exercises and stretches can improve the range of motion in the joints and muscles and reduce pain. 
  • Arch support is also a way to reposition the foot and decrease the discomfort you feel from your bone spur. 
  • Surgical options are considered only after you have tried less invasive treatments. Speak to your doctor about what types of treatments can help the condition of osteophyte formation. Generally, surgery should be considered if you have treated your condition for at least a year without noting a good improvement of symptoms. 

Do Osteophyte Formations Go Away?

No. Osteophyte formations or bone spurs won’t just go away on their own. Ultimately, they will not go away unless they are surgically removed. While they will often not grow back after surgery, you can develop additional osteophyte formations in other places on your body. 

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you feel the osteophyte formation on the top of your foot is hindering your ability to live life as you would prefer, it’s time to seek the help of a qualified professional. Thankfully, there are many options available to you to treat this condition. Dr. Hardy at Red Mountain Footcare can help with your osteophyte and advise you on the best treatment options for your case. Call 480-219-4100 to learn more or make your appointment today. There is no reason to spend even one more day living with the pain associated with an osteophyte formation foot when there is treatment available for a better way of life.

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