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What about radiation therapy for heel spurs?

Posted by Deborah N. on 3/02/04 at 09:03 (145779)

We are Americans living in France, and I have seen a specialist in
heel-spur radiation therapy. I'm wondering if I should go through
with it (it is approved by the French health department)--apparently
it is similar to cancer radiation treatments; for me 6 sessions have
been prescribed. As best I can understand, the doctor said that the
radiation would 'alter the DNA segment which causes the growth of
the spur in the first place'. Apparently it will not reduce the existing
spur, but stop any future growth.

He claims 90% success, and this clinic is one of seven in all of France
that does this procedure. I've looked all thru the Websites relating
to bone spurs, and nothing seems to show about radiation therapy.

Thanks for any prompt advice!
Debbie N.

Re: What about radiation therapy for heel spurs?

Dr. Z on 3/02/04 at 11:58 (145801)


I am not familiar with this form of treatment. The use of radiation for the treatment of either plantar fasciitis and or heel spur is something I have never heard of . The classic treatments are very effective. I wouldn't undergo this form of treatment with the explanation that you have given me. What forms of treatment have you already undergone so far? and what effect if any have they had for your heel pain.?

Re: What about radiation therapy for heel spurs?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/03/04 at 00:09 (145883)

The long term effects of so called 'therapeutic' radiation can be very undesirable -- proceed with extreme caution. Read Scott's Heel Pain Book to find out what the generally accepted treatments are. I cannot believe that a Health Department of a civilized nation could approve such a treatment considering what we know about radiation and its long term effects. Sometimes the 'authorities' do not act with the best interest of citizens in mind and decisions are politically motivated - something we see way too much of in the US.

Re: What about radiation therapy for heel spurs?

Julie on 3/03/04 at 03:19 (145900)


This does not sound like a very good idea to me. With any form of treatment for any condition, the benefits need to be assessed against the risks, the good effects against the possible harmful ones. Radiation therapy for life-threatening cancerous tumours is often indicated, even though it carries risks, some of them serious, because the benefits may outweigh the risks. I doubt very much that radiation is a treatment of choice for the - relatively minor - condition of plantar fasciitis.

In any case, the heel spur is almos never the cause of the pain of plantar fasciitis, which is actually an inflammation of or injury to the plantar aponeurosis, which can become detached from its insertion point at the calcaneus. Removing the spur by any means is unlikely to end the pain. Do read the heel pain book to inform yourself. There are many treatments for PF that do not cause long-term damage.

Re: What about radiation therapy for heel spurs?

Deborah N. on 3/04/04 at 04:16 (145985)

There are some fascinating articles in English accessible by going to Google.fr, then entering the French spelling: fasciite plantaire
Go to the website indicated 'Arborescences MeSH', there are three categories to click onto: two fasciite plantaire and one talalgie.

This procedure is apparently well-used in Europe. That doesn't mean
I'm sold yet on the idea! Thanks for all your comments!

Debbie N.