Bone Spur On Top Of Foot

Bone Spur On Top Of Foot: These are due to osteoarthritis and poor bio-mechanics. STOP living in pain, make this pain GO AWAY with simple home treatments!



Watch this video above for more information about bone spurs, their cause and their treatment!!!



What Is A Top Of The Foot Bone Spur?

A bone spur on top of the foot forms due to abnormal friction and stress on the bone.

  • As the bones of the mid-foot rub against each other, the bone re-enforces itself over many years. This is the development of osteoarthritis.
  • This is similar to a callus forming in a high pressure area in response to rubbing on the bottom of your foot.
  • The same thing will happen to the bone on the top of your foot with extended jamming and pressure of the joint.
  • A top of the foot bone spur is very common, especially in someone with a very high arched foot. This higher arch can lead to more frequent jamming in the mid-foot and rubbing against the top of your shoe.



Bone Spur On Top Of Foot
A top of the foot bone spur usually occurs at the 1st metatarsal cuneiform joint. This is called a dorsal foot exostosis.


What Are The Bone Spur on Top of the Foot Causes:

The causes of bone spurs on top of the foot are almost always osteoarthritis. This is the buildup of bone due to chronic overuse and poor biomechanics to the foot and surrounding areas.

  • Bone does not grow naturally on top of your foot.
  • It is usually a response to irritation or friction.
  • As mentioned above, it is a sign or arthritis.
  • The most common cause is dorsal compression syndrome.
  • This is when the top of the foot compresses through the bone.
  • As the top of the foot compresses, the bottom of the foot stretches out.
  • Other caues include degenerative joint disease or arthritis.


Dorsal Exostosis
A top of the foot or bottom of the foot heel spur will never go away without surgery. But pain can be very easily controlled.
Where else can bone spurs  on  the foot develop?

Bone Spurs are not limited to feet, although they are mostly found on the feet. Check out the links below to find more information about bone spurs in various locations.

  • Bottom of the foot or heel bone spur.

Heel spurs at the bottom of the foot or the heel bone are the most common type of foot spurs. This is associated with a condition called plantar fasciitis. Planter fasciitis is a biomechanical condition and the spur is almost a carrying out of the bone, this takes many years to develop.

Heel spur at the back of the heel is due to that point of the Achilles tendon. Chronic Achilles tendinitis can lead to significant pulling of the back of the heel bone, just like the heel spur on the bottom of the foot this can take many years to develop.

The calcaneal heel spur is also due to the plantar fascia, this is very similar to a heel spur on the bottom of the foot. The actual spur is generally not the problem, but the constant pressure on the plantar fascia is really the issue. If you can fix your planter fasciitis, your calcaneal heel spur should not be a problem.

A big toe joint spur is due to a condition called hallux rigidus. Hallux rigidus is arthritis of the big toe joint. There are many hallux rigidness treatments available, these usually do not require surgery. But the only true way to get rid of this bird is to perform surgery. We have had really good success correcting this with specific type of inserts, taping patterns and specific types of shoes.

Ankle bone spurs are due to ankle arthritis, this is also a biomechanical problem that takes many years to develop. With ankle arthroscopy you can do breed these and give your ankle numerous years of good ankle joint function. The real key is working on biomechanics, assessing where you have muscle dysfunction, and correcting this with good orthotics and good shoe gear choices.

Outside of the foot bone spurs are frequently due to pain on the outside of the foot. There are a few different biomechanical issues that can cause this. Read our guide on outside of the foot bone spurs and pain to learn more about this.



What Are The Bone Spurs on Top of the Foot Symptoms?

  • The most common symptoms:
  • Numbness, burning or tingling due to nerve irritation.
  • Swelling and redness.
  • A big bump or lump in the midfoot under the skin.
  • It can lead to top of the foot numbness, burning and tingling, these types of symptoms can usually present in the middle of the night when your brain isn’t really focusing on many other things.
  • This type of night time pain can occur due to nerve compression at the top of the foot.





top of foot bump
This top of foot bone spur is unusually large. This is a case where surgery may be necessary to remove it.



A Bone Spur on Top of the Big Toe:

A bone spur on top of the big toe is known as hallux rigidus.

This is osteoarthritis of the big toe joint. Osteoarthritis of the big toe is something that takes numerous years to develop.

As your foot begins to flatten out, it begins to jam improperly. It’s almost like thousands of microscopic little cracks develop within the joint. As this starts to crack, and your bone starts to attempt to heal itself, but this eventually leads to thicker and more rigid bone. This is usually something that takes many many years to develop, and we see in people who work or stand on their feet almost all day long.


This is much different than a bunion, this is the jamming of the big toe joint until you develop significant trauma to the site.

The bunion is more like a dislocation of the joint, where as hallux prejudice and a bone spur is more arthritis of the joint. If you think of your joint as a Teflon frying pan, just pretend that the missing cartilage is like your frying pan missing the Teflon coating.

Hallux Rigidus surgery before and after
The red portion in this picture is removed in hallux rigidus surgery. This is a very effective surgery with a quicker healing time, the downside is that it takes longer to heal this.



A Bone Spur on Top of the Big Toe Treatment:

Treatment for a bone spur on top of the big toe is known as treatment of hallux rigidus.

We have had tremendous success healing this issue with orthotics, taping, certain types of shoe and foot modifications. It is not unusual to get at least 50% pain relief by simply switching to a good shoe, and getting 75 or more percent relief further with good orthotics within your shoe.

Surgery is an option to remove the spur to the top of the big toe joint. This is traditionally a very successful surgery as no implants or screws ever need to be placed. It is simply a small cut that is made on top of the big toe joint and with specialized equipment we can trim down this extra bone spur. Although this is considered more minor foot surgery, there are still extensive risks to any foot surgery that you would undergo. So, do not enter into any type of surgery lightly.

There are many treatment guides and they are explained best in this treatment video.





Bone Spur on Top of Foot Treatment:

There are two major treatments for bone spurs on top of the foot.  There is the natural remedies that do not involve surgery and the surgery treatment options. Both are good solutions with pros and cons.



Bone Spur on Top of the Foot Natural Remedies:

There are many different natural remedies for a bone spur on top of the foot. Read below for the Pros vs. Cons.


Natural Remedy Pros:

  • No surgery is needed.
  • These are always worth trying before starting down a surgery treatment pathway. Just make sure you are comfortable with the actual bump never disappear, but the pain will disappear.
  • There are many ways to treat or fix a bone spur on top of foot.
  • Even if natural remedies do not fix all of your pain, at least a portion of it usually does go away.


Natural Remedy Cons:

  • They will improve your pain level, but the spur will never go away.
  • The spur is a bone growth at the end of the day and short of significant osteoporosis this will never go away.
  • These routes can be expensive and do involve orthotics and the proper shoes.
  • These treatments are not fully guaranteed to work.


In this picture there are two separate possible spurs that could be rubbing against the shoe.


How to Treat or Fix a Bone Spur on Top of Foot Without Surgery:

The initial goal of treatment is to decrease the inflammation:

  • This over time will decrease the numbness, burning and tingling.
  • Top of foot numbness is due to a condition called neuropraxia.
  • As there is irritation around the nerve, it stops working properly.
  • But if the inflammation is removed, it will function again normally very soon.



Treatment will focus on control of inflammation:

1)Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation of the foot.

  • This will simply calm down the inflammation of the foot. This is more to feel better, not a permanent solution to the problem.


2)Oral anti-inflammatory medication.

  • NSAIDs like aspirin or Ibuprofen can help decrease the more significant pain. You do not want to do this permanently, this is more of a temporary solution.
  • While oral anti-inflammatories are successful in the short term, you do not want to make this something that your eye on for the rest of your life. Medications are not meant to fix a problem, but simply get you through the more painful state while you are able to find a more permanent solution.


3)Topical anti-inflammatory medication.

  • This is like the oral anti-inflammatory. These are gels like Voltaren gel or Biofreeze gel. These can really help in the short term making your foot feel better.
  • Just like the oral medications, topical medications are not meant to be a lifelong treatment. While these are a good option in the short term and the side effects are a little bit less, this is still a hassle to have to put this on very regularly. The real key to solving these are good biomechanical corrections like orthotics and shoe gear.


4) Better fitting and very supportive shoes.

  • A good rigid and supportive shoe like a running shoe can really help.
  • This is the single biggest issue that can be corrected.
  • Many patients that we see, simply wearing a good supportive shoe at work or a good supportive shoe at home will make all your pain go away.
  • Consider shoe brands like Asiics, Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, Hoka or even now brands like Sketchers can be very good.


5)Orthotics to control the foot structure the induced the improper foot structure.

  • A good supportive over the counter orthotic can really help.
  • Orthotics for a bone spur on the top of the foot greatly realign the bone structure of your foot.
  • The real goal of orthotics is to take the pressure off your bones in your joints, which lead to arthritis. The goal is then to switch this pressure on to your muscles which rather than getting arthritis, they simply get stronger and more powerful.
  • Orthotics strive to give you a good healthy functional foot without taking any medications or getting any surgery.


Bone spur top of the foot while running
Simply skipping the holes in the middle of your foot can take the pressure off the top of your bone spur while running.



6)Lacing pattern as seen above.

  • Skip the laces in the middle of the shoe.
  • If the problem is simply the top of the shoe pressing against the top of the foot, this is something to consider.
  • Skipping having compressive laces over the bone spur is the single most effective thing that we can do for you in the short term.
  • Some people develop the pain from having pain within the joint, but some people develop the pain from having their shoelace rubbing against the top of the big spur that development because of the joint pain.
  • This is a confusing concept to imagine sometimes, but the rubbing on top of the joint is more of a symptom of extremely long term rubbing within the joint.
  • By avoiding the leases covering this bone spur, it takes pressure off the superficial peroneal nerve which can become compressed between the skin and the bone spur underneath it.



For more:


Bone Spur On Top Of Foot
Controlling the abnormal motion that caused the top of the foot bone spur is essential to preventing symptoms from getting worse!


Bone Spur on Top of Foot from Running:

A bone spur on top of the foot from running is mainly irrated because your foot becomes more aggravated during running.

The amount of force your foot absorbs increases greatly, so it is more important to have great shoes and orthotics while running.

Another option is that there are better ways to exercise rather than pounding your feet into the ground thousands of times. Especially if you are not in the greatest shape in the world. Consider swimming and cycling as great alternatives.


Do These Spurs Ever Go Away?

A heel spur will never go away without surgery, but the pain can be removed!

  • Once bone is formed it is there to stay unless you consider surgery.
  • It is useless to try and remove the bone without performing surgery, but a good idea to try and decease the inflammation and preventing the pain that it is causing.
  • Surgery for a top of the foot bone spur is very common.
  • It is a procedure where a small incision is made on the top of the foot, then the bone is shaved off.
  • The pain caused by the spur can be controlled.
  • If it compresses nerves or causes tendonitis, this can be drastically decreased.
  • Different ways of tying your shoes can drastically decrease the pain.



Treatment that works: Bone Spur Surgery:

To permanently remove the bone spur, surgery will be necessary.

  • It may also be necessary to correct the improper biomechanics that led to the formation of the joint spur.
  • You should always try the non-surgery treatments first without question, they won’t remove the spur, but your pain will feel better.
  • Surgery can be minimal, but every surgery is generally considered a risk.
  • This is not something that you should take lightly, every surgery has associated risk factors.
  • Minimal incision are used and you should not have to be off your feet too long, although sutures generally stay in for 2 weeks.
  • You will likely be bandaged and in a boot for a couple weeks, then in a surgical shoe for a few more weeks.
  • Stitches usually come out in about 2 weeks.
  • There are more permanent solutions to a bone spur on top of your foot.


Top of the foot bone spur fracture
A bone spur from a significant fracture or severe arthritis may never go away on its own. This image is considered something called charcot arthropathy.


How Long is Bone Spur on Top of Foot Surgery Recovery Time:

Bone spur on top of the foot surgery recovery time is usually the time it takes to heal the incision site. Specifically it can take 2-3 weeks until sutures are removed. Most patients experience a recovery time of 2 weeks in a dressing and surgical shoe. They can then transition to a very comfortable surgical shoe for 3-4 weeks after this. Your foot may continue to be very sore for 6-8 weeks total until you can start to resume completely normal function.


Bone Spur Removal Surgery Recovery Time:

  • 2-3 weeks until suture removal, this includes wearing a dressing.
  • You are able to walk in a surgical shoe, but with more aggressive walking you will experience soreness.
  • At 3-4 weeks you will be best served wearing a big band aid over your foot, this will protect your incision site.
  • At approximately 6-8 weeks you can resume full function such as running and heavy duty lifting.
  • If you can only take 1 week off after surgery before needing to resume long work shifts, this surgery may not be for you.
Heel spur surgery boot
Using this boot will help keep pressure off your surgical site, this allows you to move around with much less pain, we generally will add an insert into this boot.


Bone Spur on Top of the Foot Surgery Recovery Time Protocol:

This guide will detail the length of specific step by step bone spur surgery recovery time.


Day 1: Top of the Foot Spur Removal Surgery Day:

  • The actually surgery takes well under an hour, and your foot is usually numbed up for the rest of the day.
  • Some people don’t need much if any pain medication outside of anti-inflammatories. If you do have pain to this site, then it is normal to have a prescription for a narcotic pain medication for the days immediately after the surgery.
  • After surgery you will wake up with a dressing on your foot. Keep this dressing in place and your pain will be well under control with medication.
  • No implants or bone healing is necessary, except for the healing of bone pain.
  • You can wear a boot over your dressing almost immediately.
  • Most physically able people do not need crutches or a walker unless they have other health issues.
  • Usually there are about 2 sutures in the foot.
Heel spur surgery icing and dressing
This is what your dressing will look like immediately after surgery. The best thing to do is to elevate it , keep it protected and get some rest!



Day 7:  Top of the Foot Bone Spur Removal Surgery Postoperative Visit #1:

  • Within about a week, we have the first postoperative visit.
  • You will have an X-ray at this visit and we will make sure there is no irritation or damage to your dressing.
  • With this dressing change some antibiotic ointment is applied, we make sure you are not having any problems at this time.
  • Sutures are not removed yet at this visit.
The incision site will stay covered with the stitches in place following the surgery.

Week 2-3: Top of the Foot Bone Spur Removal Surgery Postoperative Visit #2:

  • This can fluctuate depending your overall health needs, physical fitness and life needs.
  • If you are able to rest more, weight less and are really healthy, sutures can usually come out at 2 weeks. Some patients need to walk and be more active, if this is the case you will likely need sutures longer and have a larger dressing.
  • If you swell more and are more tender, they can stay in a little bit longer.
  • If you are a smoker or have decreased healing ability, we may need to keep your sutures in place longer.
  • At this point your incision site should be healed.
  • At this point you will wear a band-aid for 2 weeks and walk in a good supportive running shoe.


Week 5: Postoperative Visit #3:

  • This is what the incision site will look like after the sutures are removed at 2-3 weeks or so.
  • If everything looks good, you no longer need to wear a band-aid.
  • At this point you will still be sore but can transition back into


2 Months: Postoperative Visit #4:

  • At this point you continue wearing a good supportive orthotic and good shoe.
  • If everything is feeling well you should be close to healed.
  • Keep in mind that you will continue improving for about 6 months total. But at this point you should be feeling better than you did prior to when you have a heel spur.
  • Congratulations you




For More Help:

Top Of The Foot Pain Guide.



If your pain is a heel spur on the bottom of your foot, watch this short video:

About the author

The Modern Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist Doctor):Today's podiatrist is required to undergo rigorous medical training that licenses them as physicians with equivalent legal standing to the MD and DO degree (These are physician recognized licenses most common only in the USA). Although admittedly the training does differ between the three degrees. The differences are listed below.In Michigan Podiatrists are trained and authorized to perform surgery in the foot and ankle up to the tibial tubercle below the knee.All our podiatrists and foot doctors have undergone rigorous training including a 4 undergraduate college degree, writing the medical school entrance exam (MCAT), followed by a 4 year medical school degree (DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine),Once podiatrists in the USA complete the rigorous 4 year medical school courses, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of a surgical and non-surgical residency program. Some podiatrists and foot doctors then choose to go on to further fellowship training specializing in various forms of specialty such as diabetic surgery or reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.The training is not over yet! Each podiatrist must be judged by a governing body where they submit their surgical cases and are reviewed regularly to ensure excellent results. This is a career long evaluation with board qualifications and certifications every few years.So have faith that today's podiatrist is your best choice for your foot and ankle problems! We are able to approach you foot and ankle problems from a non-surgery perspective, but that when necessary we can provide you with the treatment that you need!All articles written by this account are considered to be for educational purposes only. It is impossible for us to truly assess your condition and the advice we give here is meant to give you a basis to then follow up with your podiatrist and foot doctor later.If you have any questions at all, or there is anything that we can help you with, please feel free to contact our office or email us. Podiatrists provide medically necessary treatment which should be covered by valid insurance plans, we are not a cosmetic or elective medical specialty.