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Bone splinters foot: Splinters in Your Feet


Bone Spur Treatment, Symptoms, and Prevention

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Bone SpursDr. Mikkel Jarman2023-03-02T13:47:48-07:00

Also known as osteophytes, bone spurs may occur anywhere on the body, including the feet.

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Bone spurs are bony growths that typically develop where bone meets bone. The growth is smooth and usually measures less than a centimeter in length. It takes years for a bone spur to form, one reason that age is the greatest risk factor.

Although bone spurs may form anywhere, they’re most often found in the feet, hips, shoulder, knees, and spine. When they occur in the foot, they typically form at the front of the heel or in the center area at the top of the foot.

What Are the Symptoms of Bone Spurs?

The bone spur itself is painless, which is why people often don’t realize they have one. When the patient does experience pain, it is because the spur touches other tissue, particularly nerves.

In addition to pain, patients who have a foot or heel spur may experience:

  • Redness, swelling, and/or warmth at the affected area
  • Stiffness or other limitations that affect joint mobility
  • Difficulty standing or performing weight-bearing activities

Heel spurs often come into contact with the plantar fascia, which causes pain similar to that of plantar fasciitis. It is not uncommon for a podiatrist to discover a bone spur when diagnosing plantar fasciitis. In fact, around half of plantar fasciitis patients develop heel spurs.

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What Causes Bone Spurs?

Age is the greatest risk factor for bone spurs, whether on the heel or at the top of the foot. This is due in part to wear and tear that occurs over time, causing cartilage to break down. When that happens, your body creates extra bone in an attempt to repair itself, which may lead to bone spurs.

You’re also more likely to develop osteoarthritis as you age. This chronic condition causes the bone and joint degeneration that lead to the body creating excess bone – and the bone spur.

In addition to age, common bone spur causes include:

  • Excess weight
  • Shoes that are too tight
  • Shoes that don’t provide proper support
  • Regular weight-bearing activity that puts a lot of stress on your feet

Your risk is also greater if you have plantar fasciitis or flat feet.

Can Bone Spurs be Treated?

These days, treating bone spurs with surgery is rare. Instead, podiatrists rely on conservative treatment options. These may include:

  • Cold compresses and ice packs after performing weight-bearing activities
  • Orthotic inserts that offer arch support (specifically for treating heel spurs)
  • Cortisone injections to help ease inflammation, stiffness, and pain
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Physical therapy that includes stretching exercises, particularly before bed
  • Resting the foot, particularly after performing weight-bearing activities
  • A walking boot to help relieve pressure on the affected foot

If you experience severe pain and/or mobility limitations, you may be a candidate for surgery to remove the bone spur. However, your podiatrist should attempt conservative treatment options first.

Can You Prevent Bone Spurs?

Much depends on how early you begin practicing healthier lifestyle habits. That’s because one of the best things you can do to protect your feet from heel spurs is maintaining a healthy weight. This reduces the pressure and strain placed on your body.

It also helps to wear shoes that fit well and provide excellent support. Our article, Choosing the Right Shoe for Your Activity, is a good starting point.

Diagnosing Bone Spurs

After performing the physical exam, Dr. Jarman orders diagnostic tests of your feet. Typically, this means an x-ray, but it could also be an MRI or CT scan. If tests reveal bone spurs, the doctor begins treatment.

If you have recurrent heel or foot pain, call Preferred Foot & Ankle today at 480-497-3946.

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Bone Spurs in the Feet

When your foot is injured, the rest of your body suffers. Not only do the feet provide balance and mobility, they also serve as shock absorbers for the rest of your body. So if you are diagnosed with a bone spur in the feet, expect your feet to be anything but happy.

Pressure on the Foot

Bone spurs in the feet can form as a result of constant friction — the type that puts pressure and stress on the bones in the foot, eventually causing damage. The body responds to the damage by growing calcium on the affected bone. Bone spurs that develop on the toes are called toe spurs; those that develop of the heel are called heel spurs. A bone spur that develops midfoot is a tarsal boss. Prominent bone spur may form in response to arthritis, while some develop bone spurs in their feet due to poorly fitted footwear. Some bone spurs are accompanied by pain, while others are asymptomatic. The most common symptoms that accompany bone spurs in the foot are pain and loss of motion.

Risk Factors

Development of bone spurs may be the result of illness, overuse, bad shoes, or body conditions. For example, those with high or low arches, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and chronic inflammation are more prone to developing bone spurs than those who do not have these conditions. Bone spurs are more common in those who overweight, and the elderly are more likely to develop bone spurs than youth. Shoes are another contributing factor – those who wear shoes that constrict or rub are at a greater risk of developing bone spurs; the same is true of athletes and workman – like runners, ballet dancers and construction workers – who put enormous strain and stress on their feet.

Characteristics of Bone Spurs in the Feet

As mentioned, some people experience painful bone spurs that sideline them from the activities they love, while others go for years not even knowing they have developed bone spurs. As a rule, when bone spurs present, one can expect redness and swelling. Calluses may start to form and pain or achiness may ensue at the spur or any other part of the foot. Stiffness may substitute for mobility, which may become more painful and limited as the spur expands or exacerbates with time.

Diagnosing and Treating Bone Spurs in the Feet

An accurate diagnosis of bone spurs in the feet requires an X-ray. The results of the X-ray can reveal the presence of bone spurs, and from there, your doctor can recommend treatment. To start, your doctor most likely will recommend conservative care, such as anti-inflammatory medications, rest, over-the-counter pain medication, ice, cortisone injections, and rehabilitation to restore strength and flexibility. Your doctor might also recommend assistive devices such as orthopaedic padding and a walking boot. In severe cases where the bone spur is causing nerve compression on the spine, a laminectomy is recommended.

South Texas Orthopaedic Experts

The doctors at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine offer high-quality orthopedic care to their patients in South Texas. By employing the latest orthopaedic techniques to manage the symptoms of bone spurs and any other orthopaedic condition, our goal is to return you to your pain-free, active lifestyle. If you have specific questions or concerns about our treatment, surgical or rehabilitation programs, call us at (210) 692-7400 or request an appointment online now.

Fracture of the foot – first aid, treatment in Moscow

Fractures of the bones of the foot are diagnosed in 10% of patients with injuries of the lower extremities. Damage to bone structures occurs when the foot is twisted, jumped, dropped, hit. If symptoms of a fracture appear, it is urgent to contact a traumatologist in order to avoid the development of complications.

Why do the bones in the foot break?

A fracture occurs when a force is applied to the bone that exceeds the elasticity of the bone structures. These may be traumatic or pathological factors.

Causes of traumatic fractures of the foot:

  • vertical fall from a height, with increased fragility of the bone tissue, a fracture can occur even after jumping from a low chair;
  • traffic accidents;
  • excessive or abrupt rotation, dorsiflexion of the foot;
  • heavy objects falling on the leg;
  • foot tuck;
  • blow, severe bruise.

What are pathological fractures?

Pathological fractures – a consequence of increased fragility of bone tissue. Most often, the problem occurs against the background of a violation of the metabolic processes of mineral substances due to hormonal or age-related changes.

The main pathologies that can cause a fracture of the foot:

  • osteoporosis – a violation of the formation of bone tissue, the accumulation of calcium salts leads to a decrease in the strength and elasticity of bones;
  • osteomyelitis – an infectious pathology in which the inflammatory process negatively affects the nutrition of the bones, which leads to their weakening;
  • neoplasms in the bone marrow, bone tissue;
  • genetic pathologies that are accompanied by a violation of the process of building and mineralization of bones;
  • beriberi.

Certain drugs also negatively affect bone strength – hormonal agents, anticoagulants, drugs for the treatment of convulsive syndrome and oncological pathologies, lithium-based drugs, tetracycline antibiotics.

What are stress and neuropathic fractures

Injuries occur when the bones of the foot are exposed to traumatic factors of low intensity for a long time. Stress fractures of the foot are often found in dancers, professional athletes, and military recruits often have marching stress fractures.

A stress fracture can be caused by flat feet, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases that affect bone structures.

Neuropathic fracture of the predominantly fifth metatarsal often occurs in people with severe diabetes mellitus. Against the background of polyneuropathy, the sensitivity of the legs is disturbed, the person does not feel the blow, does not control the force of the impact.

General and specific manifestations of damage to the bones of the foot

Fracture of the bones of the foot is accompanied by sharp pain, which gradually becomes aching. The pain syndrome is caused by damage to the periosteum, which contains many nerve endings and pain receptors. The affected area swells, hematomas appear, the skin becomes cyanotic and hot, joint mobility is impaired. The crunch of bone fragments is rarely observed, since the bones of the foot are rigidly fixed by elastic structures.

Symptoms of a calcaneus fracture

When the calcaneus is fractured, the pain is severe or moderate. The heel area swells, reddens, sensitivity in the damaged area increases. Bruises, abrasions often appear around the heel, which can reach the arch of the foot. With massive swelling, blisters form 36–48 hours after the injury.

If the fracture is open, the wounds are located on the medial side. If the neurovascular bundle is damaged, severe bleeding is observed. Sometimes, due to circulatory disorders, ischemia develops, which can cause the death of the limb. If the nerve endings are damaged, the sensitivity in the heel area is reduced.

Signs of a fracture of the talus

When the talus is injured, sudden sharp pain occurs, which is more intense when the upper part of the foot is palpated. The foot and the ankle joint swell, bruises form on the inner surface of the ankle. With any movement of the ankle, the pain syndrome increases.

There is crepitus, increased sensitivity in the damaged area.

Manifestations of midfoot and forefoot fractures

The main symptom is severe pain in the forefoot that worsens with pressure. The edema may be slight or extensive with severe deformity. Often formed hematomas, abrasions.

How to recognize a stress fracture?

Signs of a stress fracture of the foot include dull, aching pain that covers the entire foot. At the initial stage, discomfort worries only during walking and physical exertion. But gradually unpleasant sensations arise even at rest. Puffiness, redness, deformation are weakly expressed.

Classification of fractures

There are different parameters for classifying fractures of the lower extremities.

When a crack is detected, an incomplete fracture is diagnosed. If the bone is completely or partially destroyed – complete. If there are wounds in the damaged area – this is an open fracture, if the integrity of the skin is not broken – closed.

Classification depending on the location of the fracture line:

  • transverse – the fracture is across the bone;
  • oblique – the bone breaks at an angle;
  • longitudinal – the fracture line is located along the bone;
  • helical – the fracture runs in a spiral;
  • polyfocal – two or more large fragments are visible on the x-ray;
  • comminuted – an injury in which several fragments of bone are formed;
  • fragmented – diagnosed when a large number of fragments are detected;
  • compression – a consequence of squeezing the bone, accompanied by deformation, flattening of the damaged bone structure;
  • impacted – wedging of fragments into each other;
  • detachable – a fragment is separated from the bone, most often this occurs at the points of attachment of the ligaments.

Foot fractures are intra-articular, in which, in addition to bones, cartilage, ligamentous apparatus and capsules are damaged. Often such a fracture is accompanied by other injuries of the limbs. Periarticular fractures are localized between the diaphysis and the end of the joint, often impacted. A diaphyseal is a fracture in the middle part of the bone, mainly with a displacement.

Classification of leg fractures by levels

There are three levels in the lower limb, each of which can cause damage to various bone structures.

Fracture of the femur

The group of femoral injuries includes:

  • fracture of the head and neck of the femur C is most often intraarticular, occurs in elderly people with osteoporosis, often such an injury leads to disability;
  • pertrochanteric and intertrochanteric fractures – intra-articular;
  • diaphyseal fractures – accompanied by a strong displacement of fragments, sharp pain, swelling, the injured limb is shortened;
  • hip condyle fracture – intra-articular, often diagnosed in elderly people after a blow or fall on the knee.

These are severe injuries that are accompanied by severe pain and profuse blood loss.

Fracture of the lower leg

The group of injuries to the bones of the lower leg includes:

  • fractures of the condyles of the tibia – intra-articular, one or both condyles may be affected, there is swelling, hemarthrosis in the knee joint;
  • diaphyseal – fractures of both bones of the lower leg, damage to the fibula and tibia, often accompanied by displacement, there is a crunch and pathological mobility of the injured limb;
  • ankle fracture – may be accompanied by subluxation, ligament rupture, displacement.

Fracture of the bones of the foot

Injuries to the bones of the foot include:

  1. Fractures of the tarsal bones – damage to the talus, navicular, sphenoid and cuboid bones.
  2. Metatarsal fractures are the most common foot injury.
  3. Finger fractures.

How to provide first aid in case of fracture of the bones of the foot

In case of fracture of the bones of the foot, it is important to provide first aid correctly and in a timely manner:

  1. Call an ambulance.
  2. Place the injured limb on a slight hill to avoid severe swelling. If the pain increases in an elevated position, the leg should be laid in a comfortable position.
  3. Apply cold to the foot.
  4. Treat wounds with an antiseptic, apply a sterile dressing.
  5. Fix the limb with boards, plywood. The joint must be fixed above and below the fracture site. If pain worsens after applying a fixing bandage, the splint should be removed.
  6. Take pain medication, no more than two doses.

Diagnostic methods

In case of a foot injury, it is necessary to consult a traumatologist. After examining the injured limb, taking an anamnesis and analyzing complaints, the doctor will prescribe the necessary studies to identify the location and type of fracture.

The main diagnostic method is X-ray. The picture is taken in the anteroposterior, lateral, oblique, Broden and projection, which is oriented along the canal of the talus.

X-rays are not always informative enough. A stress fracture of the foot at the initial stage is practically not visualized. Damage to the ligaments and soft tissues are not visible in the picture.

Auxiliary diagnostic methods:

  1. CT scan – allows you to see even minor defects in bone structures. It is prescribed if x-rays are not informative enough, with signs of additional pathological processes in the bones, with suspicion of a stress fracture.
  2. MRI – allows you to see any changes in soft tissues, nerve endings, blood vessels, ligaments. This is one of the best ways to identify a stress fracture
  3. Ultrasound is one of the safest diagnostic methods. But it does not reflect the state of bone structures. Ultrasound can detect only indirect signs of a fracture, inflammation, foci of accumulation of blood or other fluid in the joint cavity.

Methods of treatment

The choice of methods of treatment depends on the type, severity and duration of the injury:

  1. If a fracture is not displaced, a cast is immediately applied.
  2. In case of a displaced fracture of the foot, open or closed reposition of fragments is performed under local anesthesia. Then a plaster cast is applied.
  3. Skeletal traction. Assign for old injuries, when closed reposition is ineffective.
  4. Osteosynthesis is a surgical method of bone fusion in severe comminuted fractures.
  5. The Ilizarov apparatus is used for comminuted fractures.

Recovery period

Rehabilitologists use the following methods to restore the functions and anatomy of an injured limb:

  1. Introducing various drugs into biologically active points of the feet using needles.
  2. Therapeutic massage. Helps restore blood flow, reduce pain.
  3. Physiotherapy.
  4. Wearing an arch support for at least a year after the injury.
  5. Therapeutic exercise. The specialist selects a set of exercises that will help you quickly return to a normal lifestyle, avoid lameness.
  6. Application of teips. Muscles and ligaments are fixed with special tapes.
  7. Pilates, yoga – exercises will help to relax, improve the elasticity of the ligaments and the mobility of the joints.
  8. Diet therapy. Products are prescribed to accelerate the process of bone tissue repair.

Why are foot fractures dangerous?

In case of complicated fractures, the lack of proper treatment, there is a high probability of developing arthrosis, dysfunctions of the foot.

Any fracture requires immediate medical attention. The visit should not be postponed, because the callus begins to form very quickly. Specialists of the clinic “Miracle Doctor” in Moscow will conduct all the necessary research and select the best methods of therapy and rehabilitation for various foot fractures. Call us or use the form on the website to schedule an appointment with a traumatologist.


Is it necessary to apply a cast in case of a fracture of the bones of the foot?

The imposition of a fixing plaster cast in case of a bone fracture is mandatory. Gypsum prevents the injured limb from moving, helps to reduce the load on the foot, and helps to fix the bones in the correct anatomical position. Gypsum is applied to the entire foot with the capture of the lower third of the lower leg. On average, it will have to be worn for 6-10 weeks, subject to the identification of complications.

When is surgery required for a broken foot?

Surgical intervention is necessary for severe displacement of bone fragments, with a large number of bone fragments. Surgery is resorted to if conservative methods are ineffective. The operation is performed under local or general anesthesia. Fragments are fixed with knitting needles, plates, screws.

What physiotherapy will help you recover faster after a fracture?

Physiotherapy is an important part of the rehabilitation period after fractures. They are prescribed already 2-5 days after the injury. In the first 10 days, procedures are carried out to eliminate pain, swelling, and muscle spasm. These are UHF, magnetotherapy, treatment with interference currents, ultraviolet irradiation, electrophoresis with anesthetics. Then procedures are prescribed that accelerate the process of formation of connective tissue and primary bone callus, help to avoid joint and muscle dysfunction. These are UHF, ultraviolet irradiation and current treatment, electrophoresis with calcium preparations. To consolidate the therapeutic effect, it is necessary to undergo physiotherapy once every six months.

Slowly consolidating fractures – symptoms of trauma, first aid and treatment, rehabilitation – Department of Traumatology NCC No. 2 (CCH RAS)

Fracture is a painful condition in which there is a violation of the integrity of the bone resulting from an injury under the influence of a damaging factor that is stronger than the strength of the bone tissue. Fractures are of two types: open and closed, with and without displacement of bone fragments. After an injury, the bones grow together until a callus is formed. This process is called fracture consolidation . Accordingly, a consolidating fracture is a fused fracture. Distinguish between fast and slow consolidation. Rapid consolidation is the complete fusion of the bones, in which a callus is formed and blood circulation is restored. Delayed consolidation is a bone union disorder with slow callus formation. As a result, the fracture can grow together incorrectly and cause a lot of inconvenience to the patient.

The main causes of injury.

There are general and local reasons due to which the process of bone tissue repair slows down. These include:

  • Severe illnesses (diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis)
  • Bad habits (smoking, alcohol)
  • Depletion of the body
  • Old age (over 60)
  • Multiple fractures
  • Women’s dysmenorrhea
  • Entry of infection or foreign bodies into the wound
  • Serious soft tissue injuries
  • Circulatory disorders

Signs of slowly consolidating fractures.

Signs of delayed callus formation include:

  • Unnatural mobility of bone fragments in the area of ​​damage
  • Pain in the area of ​​bone injury
  • X-ray shows gap between bone fragments


You can recognize the slowdown in the process of proper fusion of bone tissues in the area of ​​the fracture:

  • during a clinical examination (the doctor, by bending and pressing hard on the area of ​​injury, determines whether the pain persists, whether elasticity and springiness appear at the fracture site)
  • by radiography (can only be used 16-22 days after the fracture, the fracture line will be clearly visible on the x-ray, and the callus is vaguely expressed)

List of specialists to contact:

  • Traumatologist-orthopedist
  • Surgeon


With delayed bone fusion, two treatment options are possible – conservative and surgical.

  • Conservative treatment is the prolongation of the immobilization of the fracture, sufficient for its union. A nonunion fracture is treated with the introduction of drugs that stimulate the process of bone formation, it is possible to inject the patient’s blood into the gap between the fragments, and to inject strengthening and tonic injections.
  • If the terms of consolidation increase by more than 1.5-2 months, then the patient is prescribed surgical treatment. In the Department of Traumatology, the patient will undergo one of the necessary operations according to indications: extrafocal compression osteosynthesis, bone grafting, tunnelization according to Beck, or surgery with a sliding graft according to Khakhutov.


To speed up the recovery of slowly growing fractures, the following is prescribed:

  • Physiotherapy (calcium iontophoresis, UHF, anabolic hormones, quartz irradiation, etc.)
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Mud treatment
  • Taking calcium preparations in combination with zinc, folic acid, magnesium, vitamins D, C, B.