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Foot Bone or Joint Injury

Bone Spur on top of foot

Minute Read


Posted 4 months ago


Last updated: 04/12/2022


by James McCormack

What is a Bone Spur?

A bone spur is a small growth of additional bone that occurs at the end of a bone, usually where two bones meet. These bone spurs are commonly seen in the foot due to 30 joints being present. Patients often notice a slight bump appearing on the top of their bone that is firm when pressed. In many cases, a bone spur on top of the foot is pain-free, but in some cases, it can cause significant discomfort.

Diagram showing the Location of bone spur on top of foot

Bone Spur on the top of the foot: Symptoms

A bone spur on the top of the foot can cause pain when walking on uneven surfaces or running. Tight-fitting shoes that apply direct pressure to the top of the foot can also cause pain from a bone spur.

As a bone spur on top of the foot is often accompanied by arthritis, there may be swelling and redness on top of the foot, stiffness in the foot first thing in the morning and a corn or callus on the skin above the bone spur.

Bone Spur on the top of the foot: Causes

Obesity plays a key role in the development of bone spurs in the foot due to excess pressure placed on the joints of the foot. The repetitive impact from running can increase your risk of bone spur formation, while osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of bone spur on the top of the foot.

We are more likely to develop a bone spur as we get older and previous injury to the joint or having flat feet also contribute to developing a bone spur on top of the foot.

Bone Spur on the top of the foot: Diagnosis

A physical examination by a Podiatrist or a Physical Therapist can identify the symptoms of a bone spur based on palpation and an expected reduced range of movement in the affected joint. However, they may refer for a scan to confirm the diagnosis.

An x-ray usually is sufficient to diagnose a bone spur and to identify any arthritis change within the affected joint space.

Bone Spur on the top of the foot: Treatment

There are several treatments to manage a bone spur on the top of the foot, which a Physical Therapist should guide. In the first instance, wide-fitting, cushioned shoes can provide extra comfort and reduce pain levels, and if there is a corn on the skin, a corn pad can be helpful.

A Physical Therapist can perform a physical assessment to identify muscular weaknesses that may be causing poor foot control and overloading the joints affected by a bone spur. A gait analysis can help to identify the necessity for an insole to support the medial arch of the foot.

Anti-inflammatories and ice can help to reduce inflammation and pain levels, while non-impact activities such as swimming and cycling are excellent methods for weight management.

Other treatment includes a steroid injection to reduce inflammation levels, or in severe cases, surgery may be performed to excise the bone spur.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

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