Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

heel spurs

Posted by Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 00:04 (047897)

I have heel spurs on both my feet, however I am in constant pain with my left foot and cannot walk without a limp. I wear othotics and had been stretching my leg tendon regularly. However my left foot is now too painful to even stretch. My left hip and knee also ache now, possibly because of the months I have been limping. I have osteoarthritis in my back, shoulder and both my feet (heelspurs and growths along the top of my feet as well as underneath).

My podiatrist offered to operate on my left foot, removing the spur and implanting a titanium bullet into my heel to attach my tendon to. I would be unable to walk for 6 weeks and would gradually build up my walking after that.

Saw an orthopeadic surgeon, said no worries, can take out spur with small incision in the back of my tendon and said I should be back at work in around 2 weeks.

Very confused, a little worried. Any thoughts. The path of least resistance at this stage seems to be to go with the orthopeadic.

Re: heel spurs

Dr. Marlene Reid on 5/16/01 at 00:20 (047898)

It really depends if the achilles tendon is tight. If it is, and the tendon is not lengthened, you will likely have pain and spurring again in the future.

Re: heel spurs

GAYE K on 5/16/01 at 04:56 (047911)

I HAVE JUST POSTED A REMEDY TO TRY ..MAGNESIUM ORATATE. I HAVE BEEN
TOLD THAT SURGERY DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK AND THE SPUR CAN COME BACK.
IN MY OPINION DOCTORS ARE BEATEN BY THIS TERRIBLE COMPLAINT.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 06:25 (047914)

What can magnesium oratate do? Where is it available. My surgery is due on 20/6/01. I am not actually convinced they will help me.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 06:28 (047916)

My podiatrist would like to make a 'Y' incision in my tendon, believing it will lengthen the tendon. My orthopeadic surgeon says that only a slit to allow access needs to be done, he had an ultrasound of my tendon done and doesn't think anything is wrong with it (hopefully they can tell!!) However my podiatrist believes my tendon needs work too.

I have no idea and am finding it all very confusing. All I know is I am in terrible pain and would like it to end I am due for an operation from the orthopeadic surgeon on 20/6/01

Re: To Leanne heel spurs

Pauline on 5/16/01 at 08:48 (047933)

First of all Leanne, I am no doctor and you have quite a decision ahead of you. Two doctors, two opinions. One seems to have a more aggressive type surgery planned. I don't have your answer but maybe I can give you more to think about before you select either.
1.Read all the surgical postings---I think you will find there is no guarantee with any surgery. Many times the people posting find themselves in worse shape with more pain than before the surgery. Really think about it.

2.Consider seeing another Ortho for a third opinion. In my opinion they tend to be more conservative in treatment.

3. If you decide to try any surgery, you might want to go for the more conservative approach. You can always have more, but you can't always correct surgery that was too aggressive.

As I said I am no doctor, but after reading the post surgical entries I would find the doctor with the most experience in doing the procedure and
talk to several of patients. Some people think that because they are just operating on your feet no big deal---they just don't realize how complicated they are and how interconnected each part of the foot is.

I wish you the best of luck in making your decision.

Re: heel spurs

brianh on 5/16/01 at 12:44 (047954)

Leanne, I can't give you any advice about surgery, but in the 4 weeks or so before the one you have scheduled on 6/20, here's something you can try. I got rid of the heel pain that plagued me for 2 years by taking a chelated calcium/magnesium/boron/vitaminD supplement and cutting out drinking carbonated beverages. I did this because I saw some research that said bone spurs were caused by a calcium deficiency, and by removing the deficiency, the body will reabsorb the bone spurs naturally. Within 4 weeks I experienced a significant improvement in the intensity and duration of the heel pain, and within 4 months it was completely gone, and has stayed gone for the last 2 years.

Taking the chelated supplement is to make sure you are getting enough calcium in your diet. The reason for not drinking carbonated beverages is that something about them interferes with the body's ability to assimilate the calcium from your diet.

Another supplement you can try is pycnogenol or grape seed extract. There is some research that these substances help strengthen tendons and ligaments.

And have you tried glucosamine sulfate for your arthritis? Some visitors to this site have claimed that it helped their heel pain as well.

Re: heel spurs

Christy D on 5/16/01 at 14:10 (047968)

It's so good to know I'm not alone with the feet from hell!

Re: To Brian heel spurs

Pauline on 5/16/01 at 15:48 (047977)

I think your supplements are certainly worth a try. The cost involved is very little compared to surgery and certainly the treatment has less risk.
Since bone is living tissue continually growing and being absorbed your
combination seem reasonable to me. This could be the best tip posted in a long time.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 17:51 (047985)

What is happening with your feet?

Re: ESWT is another option if

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/16/01 at 18:18 (047993)

The motion of the ankle joint is important also If the tendon isn't tight and the ankle motion is normal. YOu have another option and that is ESWT for chronic insertional tendonitis. This is a non-invasion procedure without any of the risks and complications that are noted with any type of surgery on or near this tendon.

Re: heel spurs

brianh on 5/17/01 at 08:24 (048060)

Magnesium may be beneficial in a roundabout way. From what I've read, without sufficient magnesium, your body cannot absorb the calcium in your diet. Adding magnesium could increase your calcium assimilation, unless you also have too little calcium in your diet. Recent research has shown that boron is also necessary for calcium absorption. That is why I suggested the calcium/magnesium/boron + vitaminD supplements. The calcium/magnesium ratio should be 2:1. And if all 3 are chelated, your body will be able to absorb more of the minerals than if they are not chelated.

Re: TO Brian - Re: heel spurs

Christy D on 5/21/01 at 15:06 (048481)

Where do u find these supplements? At this point I would like to try ALL my options before resulting to surgery. Are they individual pills or multi vitamins?

Please advise.

Thanks

Re: TO Brian - Re: heel spurs

briand on 5/22/01 at 08:58 (048562)

Christy, I got the supplements at my local health food store. The cal/mag is an all in 1 capsule with 500mg calcium, 250mg magnesium, 2mg boron, and 50 mg VitD. All the minerals were chelated. I think SOLGAR makes a supplement similar to this. I took 3 per day, 1 with each meal. Now that I'm pain free I cut this to 2/day. The grape seed extract is a separate 50 mg capsule (1/day), as is the glucosamine sulfate 500mg. I read some earlier posts of others who were taking the 1500mg/day of the glucosamine sulfate and saw benefits at that level. I still stay away from carbonated beverages.

Re: heel spurs

Dr. Marlene Reid on 5/31/01 at 19:34 (049507)

Leanne, sorry for the delay in answering, I have been out of town. There are different complications for the two different methods you described above. I would ask each doctor why he/she is choosing the method they are recommending. Go with the doctor you feel more comfortable with after hearing their reasons. They will both know of both methods.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 6/01/01 at 02:00 (049542)

Thank you for your response. I am going with the ortho bloke. Rightly or wrongly I am too embarrassed to go back and keep asking questions. I have actually decided I am just being silly and to treat it like a visit to the Dentist, grit my teeth and get on with it. I think I will be in for some pain after, but hope it won't be too bad. My ortho bloke initially told me I can return to work after 1 - 2 weeks, with 1 night in hospital. I booked in and he changed it to 2 nights in hospital with 2 and a half weeks pending review. I have worked up a lot of time, so am taking 5 weeks off with the hope of being fully recovered and able to enjoy my holidays, but if I can't at least I won't have to worry about getting to work.

My Podiatrist wanted to make a 'Y' incision in my achilles tendon and cut out the spurs on the back of my heel, then insert a titanium 'bullet' into my heel bone (ow)and attaching my tendon(?) to the bullet, about a 45 minute procedure, I would go home on the same day. With this procedure I would not be able to walk at all for 6 weeks (wheelchair, crutches and walking frame) and would have a 2-3 week re-walking program before returning to work. I thought this was far more invasive and worried about things like bones shattering when having a titanium bullet inserted. This procedure is not covered by med insurance (why?) and I was not confident this was an okay procedure. I am also obese and did not want to inflict such helplessness upon my husband unless I had to.

My ortho bloke reckons he can just make a slit in my achillies tendon and cut out the spur that way. Stitch me up and have me up and running around within a short time.

At this stage both are happy to leave the spur under my foot alone, as well as the bony nobs on top of my feet, thinking it is the spur on the back of my heel that is the problem.

I am not a doctor, got really confused, got too hard and I eventually said 'Bugger it' and went with the Ortho bloke simply because he is covered by medical insurance and the podiatrist isn't. Besides, they will give me a glass of wine with my dinner at the private hospital.

Still in heaps of pain, still limp everywhere, everyone still looks at me funny and the other week I got excited over an adjustable walking stick. So decided I would just bite the bullet and do it. It's pretty bad now and if they stuff it up I will just have to do whatever I can. I simply cannot go on the way I am.

I am resigned to the fact that eventually my other foot (right) will have to be done, but hopefull will feel a bit better when I can walk properly and I will get another year or 2 out of it first. I have also accepted that the spur(s) probably will reoccur, simply because I am riddled with osteoarthritis anyway (I am 38 and am not looking forward to 50!).

Operation date is 20 June 2001.

Re: heel spurs

Julie on 6/01/01 at 02:57 (049545)

Hi Leanne

Thanks for sharing your decision-making process. I'm sure it's a relief to have made it, and I wish you all the luck in the world for 20 June and beyond. I hope you'll be able to enjoy your holidays, too - and that glass of wine!

All the best

Julie

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 6/01/01 at 07:27 (049551)

Thanks, I intend to have lots of glasses of wine before the event! If nothing else I will have a silly grin on my face when the op happens.

Re: heel spurs

Dr. Marlene Reid on 5/16/01 at 00:20 (047898)

It really depends if the achilles tendon is tight. If it is, and the tendon is not lengthened, you will likely have pain and spurring again in the future.

Re: heel spurs

GAYE K on 5/16/01 at 04:56 (047911)

I HAVE JUST POSTED A REMEDY TO TRY ..MAGNESIUM ORATATE. I HAVE BEEN
TOLD THAT SURGERY DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK AND THE SPUR CAN COME BACK.
IN MY OPINION DOCTORS ARE BEATEN BY THIS TERRIBLE COMPLAINT.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 06:25 (047914)

What can magnesium oratate do? Where is it available. My surgery is due on 20/6/01. I am not actually convinced they will help me.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 06:28 (047916)

My podiatrist would like to make a 'Y' incision in my tendon, believing it will lengthen the tendon. My orthopeadic surgeon says that only a slit to allow access needs to be done, he had an ultrasound of my tendon done and doesn't think anything is wrong with it (hopefully they can tell!!) However my podiatrist believes my tendon needs work too.

I have no idea and am finding it all very confusing. All I know is I am in terrible pain and would like it to end I am due for an operation from the orthopeadic surgeon on 20/6/01

Re: To Leanne heel spurs

Pauline on 5/16/01 at 08:48 (047933)

First of all Leanne, I am no doctor and you have quite a decision ahead of you. Two doctors, two opinions. One seems to have a more aggressive type surgery planned. I don't have your answer but maybe I can give you more to think about before you select either.
1.Read all the surgical postings---I think you will find there is no guarantee with any surgery. Many times the people posting find themselves in worse shape with more pain than before the surgery. Really think about it.

2.Consider seeing another Ortho for a third opinion. In my opinion they tend to be more conservative in treatment.

3. If you decide to try any surgery, you might want to go for the more conservative approach. You can always have more, but you can't always correct surgery that was too aggressive.

As I said I am no doctor, but after reading the post surgical entries I would find the doctor with the most experience in doing the procedure and
talk to several of patients. Some people think that because they are just operating on your feet no big deal---they just don't realize how complicated they are and how interconnected each part of the foot is.

I wish you the best of luck in making your decision.

Re: heel spurs

brianh on 5/16/01 at 12:44 (047954)

Leanne, I can't give you any advice about surgery, but in the 4 weeks or so before the one you have scheduled on 6/20, here's something you can try. I got rid of the heel pain that plagued me for 2 years by taking a chelated calcium/magnesium/boron/vitaminD supplement and cutting out drinking carbonated beverages. I did this because I saw some research that said bone spurs were caused by a calcium deficiency, and by removing the deficiency, the body will reabsorb the bone spurs naturally. Within 4 weeks I experienced a significant improvement in the intensity and duration of the heel pain, and within 4 months it was completely gone, and has stayed gone for the last 2 years.

Taking the chelated supplement is to make sure you are getting enough calcium in your diet. The reason for not drinking carbonated beverages is that something about them interferes with the body's ability to assimilate the calcium from your diet.

Another supplement you can try is pycnogenol or grape seed extract. There is some research that these substances help strengthen tendons and ligaments.

And have you tried glucosamine sulfate for your arthritis? Some visitors to this site have claimed that it helped their heel pain as well.

Re: heel spurs

Christy D on 5/16/01 at 14:10 (047968)

It's so good to know I'm not alone with the feet from hell!

Re: To Brian heel spurs

Pauline on 5/16/01 at 15:48 (047977)

I think your supplements are certainly worth a try. The cost involved is very little compared to surgery and certainly the treatment has less risk.
Since bone is living tissue continually growing and being absorbed your
combination seem reasonable to me. This could be the best tip posted in a long time.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 5/16/01 at 17:51 (047985)

What is happening with your feet?

Re: ESWT is another option if

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/16/01 at 18:18 (047993)

The motion of the ankle joint is important also If the tendon isn't tight and the ankle motion is normal. YOu have another option and that is ESWT for chronic insertional tendonitis. This is a non-invasion procedure without any of the risks and complications that are noted with any type of surgery on or near this tendon.

Re: heel spurs

brianh on 5/17/01 at 08:24 (048060)

Magnesium may be beneficial in a roundabout way. From what I've read, without sufficient magnesium, your body cannot absorb the calcium in your diet. Adding magnesium could increase your calcium assimilation, unless you also have too little calcium in your diet. Recent research has shown that boron is also necessary for calcium absorption. That is why I suggested the calcium/magnesium/boron + vitaminD supplements. The calcium/magnesium ratio should be 2:1. And if all 3 are chelated, your body will be able to absorb more of the minerals than if they are not chelated.

Re: TO Brian - Re: heel spurs

Christy D on 5/21/01 at 15:06 (048481)

Where do u find these supplements? At this point I would like to try ALL my options before resulting to surgery. Are they individual pills or multi vitamins?

Please advise.

Thanks

Re: TO Brian - Re: heel spurs

briand on 5/22/01 at 08:58 (048562)

Christy, I got the supplements at my local health food store. The cal/mag is an all in 1 capsule with 500mg calcium, 250mg magnesium, 2mg boron, and 50 mg VitD. All the minerals were chelated. I think SOLGAR makes a supplement similar to this. I took 3 per day, 1 with each meal. Now that I'm pain free I cut this to 2/day. The grape seed extract is a separate 50 mg capsule (1/day), as is the glucosamine sulfate 500mg. I read some earlier posts of others who were taking the 1500mg/day of the glucosamine sulfate and saw benefits at that level. I still stay away from carbonated beverages.

Re: heel spurs

Dr. Marlene Reid on 5/31/01 at 19:34 (049507)

Leanne, sorry for the delay in answering, I have been out of town. There are different complications for the two different methods you described above. I would ask each doctor why he/she is choosing the method they are recommending. Go with the doctor you feel more comfortable with after hearing their reasons. They will both know of both methods.

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 6/01/01 at 02:00 (049542)

Thank you for your response. I am going with the ortho bloke. Rightly or wrongly I am too embarrassed to go back and keep asking questions. I have actually decided I am just being silly and to treat it like a visit to the Dentist, grit my teeth and get on with it. I think I will be in for some pain after, but hope it won't be too bad. My ortho bloke initially told me I can return to work after 1 - 2 weeks, with 1 night in hospital. I booked in and he changed it to 2 nights in hospital with 2 and a half weeks pending review. I have worked up a lot of time, so am taking 5 weeks off with the hope of being fully recovered and able to enjoy my holidays, but if I can't at least I won't have to worry about getting to work.

My Podiatrist wanted to make a 'Y' incision in my achilles tendon and cut out the spurs on the back of my heel, then insert a titanium 'bullet' into my heel bone (ow)and attaching my tendon(?) to the bullet, about a 45 minute procedure, I would go home on the same day. With this procedure I would not be able to walk at all for 6 weeks (wheelchair, crutches and walking frame) and would have a 2-3 week re-walking program before returning to work. I thought this was far more invasive and worried about things like bones shattering when having a titanium bullet inserted. This procedure is not covered by med insurance (why?) and I was not confident this was an okay procedure. I am also obese and did not want to inflict such helplessness upon my husband unless I had to.

My ortho bloke reckons he can just make a slit in my achillies tendon and cut out the spur that way. Stitch me up and have me up and running around within a short time.

At this stage both are happy to leave the spur under my foot alone, as well as the bony nobs on top of my feet, thinking it is the spur on the back of my heel that is the problem.

I am not a doctor, got really confused, got too hard and I eventually said 'Bugger it' and went with the Ortho bloke simply because he is covered by medical insurance and the podiatrist isn't. Besides, they will give me a glass of wine with my dinner at the private hospital.

Still in heaps of pain, still limp everywhere, everyone still looks at me funny and the other week I got excited over an adjustable walking stick. So decided I would just bite the bullet and do it. It's pretty bad now and if they stuff it up I will just have to do whatever I can. I simply cannot go on the way I am.

I am resigned to the fact that eventually my other foot (right) will have to be done, but hopefull will feel a bit better when I can walk properly and I will get another year or 2 out of it first. I have also accepted that the spur(s) probably will reoccur, simply because I am riddled with osteoarthritis anyway (I am 38 and am not looking forward to 50!).

Operation date is 20 June 2001.

Re: heel spurs

Julie on 6/01/01 at 02:57 (049545)

Hi Leanne

Thanks for sharing your decision-making process. I'm sure it's a relief to have made it, and I wish you all the luck in the world for 20 June and beyond. I hope you'll be able to enjoy your holidays, too - and that glass of wine!

All the best

Julie

Re: heel spurs

Leanne C on 6/01/01 at 07:27 (049551)

Thanks, I intend to have lots of glasses of wine before the event! If nothing else I will have a silly grin on my face when the op happens.