Classification of Calcaneal Spurs and Their Relationship With Plantar Fasciitis

J Foot Ankle Surg. Jul-Aug 2015;54(4):594-600. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2014.11.009. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Calcaneal spurs, as a cause of plantar fasciitis, are currently debatable. A prospective study was performed to classify calcaneal spurs according to the findings from an investigation of the relationship between calcaneal spurs and plantar fasciitis. Thirty patients with calcaneal spurs and plantar heel pain underwent calcaneal spur removal and endoscopic plantar fasciotomy. The relationship between the classification of calcaneal spurs and plantar fasciitis was evaluated by endoscopic findings, clinical symptoms, radiographic images, and biopsy findings. The visual analog scale for pain and the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot scores for functional evaluation were used preoperatively and postoperatively, respectively. The mean follow-up period was 24 months. Two separate types of calcaneal spurs were recognized. Type A calcaneal spurs were located superior to the plantar fascia insertion, and type B calcaneal spurs were located within the plantar fascia. Magnetic resonance imaging results showed a more severe plantar fasciitis grade in type B calcaneal spurs preoperatively. Histologic examination showed that the numbers of granulocytes per image in type B spurs were significantly increased compared with those in type A spurs. Statistically significant improvements were found in the mean visual analog scale and American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society scores and magnetic resonance imaging results in both groups. The amount of change in the visual analog scale score and American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society score, the number of granulocytes per image, and calcaneal spur length showed a high association with the classification of the calcaneal spurs. Calcaneal spurs were completely removed and did not recur in any of the patients on radiographic assessment during the follow-up period. Calcaneal spurs can be classified into 2 distinct types that are indicative of the severity of plantar fasciitis.

Keywords: calcaneus; classification; endoscopic plantar fasciotomy; granulocyte count; heel pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / pathology*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / surgery
  • Fasciotomy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Granulocytes / pathology
  • Heel Spur / classification*
  • Heel Spur / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heel Spur / pathology*
  • Heel Spur / surgery
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Visual Analog Scale