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How to Treat Ankle Bone Spurs

By Kevin Woodson ; Updated July 27, 2017

An ankle bone spur is small pointed outgrowth of bone caused by an inflammation that stimulates cells to deposit bone in the ankle area, usually occurring near injured cartilage or tendons. Causing pain, numbness, tenderness and sometimes swelling, bone spurs can make it difficult to walk, depending on their location.

Bone spurs are not always symptomatic. However, where symptoms are present, bone spurs are usually associated with pain, numbness and/or tenderness, depending on the location.The first thing to do is to decrease inflammation. Apply ice or any other type of cold application to the ankle until the swelling goes down.

Sometimes the location of the bone spur is not easily accessible with ice or a cold application, so in these instances take anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen until the pain subsides. Injections of anti-inflammatories are often necessary.

Depending on the location of the spur, mechanical measures may be needed. Shoe inserts or spur pads may alleviate the pain.

When all else fails and the bone spurs are causing more problems such as damaging nerves or surrounding tissues and the preceding conservative methods are ineffective, bone spurs may require surgery.


Rest is the most important part of the healing process.


Stay off your feet as much as possible and try to avoid re-injury of the ankle. If you're not careful, the pain can linger.

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