Treatment for an Achilles Tendon Bone Spur

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Treatment for an Achilles Tendon Bone Spur
Treatment for an Achilles Tendon Bone Spur (Image: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020501/1805.html)

An Achilles tendon bone spur is called a calcaneal or heel bone spur. Bone spurs grow over other bones, not on tendons. However, a bone spur on the heel bone can touch or affect the Achilles tendon. An Achilles tendon bone spur forms at the insertion point of the Achilles tendon and behind the heel. This extra bone growth affects the bursa and surrounding tissue. It creates irritation and inflammation of this area and that of the area where the Achilles tendon meets with the heel bone. Several bursa reside behind the heel bone that protect the tendon from the heel bone. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that are lined with soft tissue.

Ice

An ice pack may be used to treat the symptoms of an Achilles bone spur. Place the ice on the area of pain or inflammation. This will help to numb the pain and to reduce the swelling. Reduction of the inflammation will minimize the amount of rubbing on tissues that the bone spur is doing.

Oral Medication

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, also called NSAIDs, include over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen. These are also available in prescription strength and medicines such as Relafen and Celebrex. Only take prescription drugs prescribed by your doctor. All work to reduce inflammation and pain.

Oral-Medication Side Effects

NSAIDS have side effects that make them a less than perfect option for some who suffer symptoms from Achilles bone spurs.They sometimes irritate the stomach, including ulcers. NSAIDs can be dangerous for people who have medical conditions such as heart, liver and kidney disease or asthmas.

Pregnant and nursing women should not take NSAIDs to treat Achilles tendon bone-spur symptoms.

Surgery

Surgery is the most permanent of the treatment options for Achilles tendon bone spurs. While surgery does not guarantee that the bone spur will not grow back, it does do more than treat the symptoms. If your doctor decides that you need surgery to remove the Achilles tendon bone spurs, you will probably be referred to an orthopedic surgeon. Recovery from this type of treatment takes longer than any other treatments, but the problem will be solved for the time being.

Physical Therapy

You may need to visit a physical therapist to discuss methods of preventing the Achilles tendon bone spurs from returning. He or she will train you in behavioral changes that will reduce the possibility of bone spur re-growth.

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