When Things Go Bump on Your Foot

It won’t be long until Halloween is upon us, which means it’s the perfect time of year for scary stories and movies about the things that go bump in the night. Now, we’re pretty sure zombies and vampires don’t actually exist, but there are medical and health concerns that can be rather frightening. Finding an unusual bump on your foot is one example of a scary situation in real life. This should be concerning, and sometimes the answer to “what is this bump on my foot?” is a bone spur. This type of bump is fixed and not movable under the skin.

Xray of foot and heel with bone spur

You might not be aware of their existence in many instances, but bone spurs are formed when calcium deposits build up over time on existing bone. The deposits are made by the body in response to persistent pressure or pulling forces. These bone changes are intended to protect the area, but sometimes the size can lead to issues.

Now, your feet obviously face tremendous force loads. Simply walking around, doing normal activities, places one-and-a-half to two times your bodyweight on them! That number can jump up to four times your weight when you are running or jumping. Of course, feet are engineered in such a way that they should handle these force loads rather well, but abnormal foot structure or excessive activity can lead to problems.

In the feet, there are three main areas where bone spurs tend to more frequently appear – the underside of the heel, the back of the heel, and around joints.

Heel spurs on the bottom of the heel develop often in conjunction with plantar fasciitis. The good news with this spur is that the padding underneath the heel is rather thick and typically doesn’t pose much of an issue. More concerning is when the spur forms on the back of the heel bone. There is not as much padding in this area and wearing certain shoes—particularly high-heeled models where the top of the back of the shoe curves in—can exacerbate painful symptoms. This can be called a “Pump Bump’ after the women’s style of shoe.

Sometimes, spurs develop around joints. This can contribute to an issue like hallux limitus. In this case, the spur further restricts the big toe’s ability to move. Over time, this can become quite debilitating.

If you find yourself asking “what is this bump on my foot?” and want a professional answer, come see us here at our Indianapolis podiatrist office. We will accurately diagnose the problem for you, and then create a customized treatment plan. Call us at (317) 545-0505 or take advantage of our online form to contact us and request your appointment.

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