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Foot (Edinb). 2012 Sep;22(3):125-9. doi: 10.1016/j.foot.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 3.

Calcaneal spurs: examining etiology using prehistoric skeletal remains to understand present day heel pain.

Author information

1
Anthropology Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0113, USA. Elizabeth.Weiss@sjsu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Calcanei are the most common sites for bony spurs. Although calcaneal enthesophytes have been extensively researched, many unknowns remain. Whether biological factors, such as age, weight and genetics, play a greater role in calcaneal spur etiology than activity is still unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

The current study examines 121 adults from a prehistoric hunter-gatherer population to aid in understanding bony spur etiology.

METHODS:

Calcaneal spurs are scored as present or absent on the dorsal or plantar side; they are analyzed in regards to their relationships with age, sex, osteoarthritis, cortical index, femoral head breadth and muscle markers.

RESULTS:

Dorsal and plantar spurs frequencies increase with age (chi-squares=16.90, 7.268, Ps<0.05, respectively). Dorsal spurs were more frequent than plantar spurs (chi-square=38.000; P<0.0001). There is a positive relationship with calcaneal spurs and upper limb and lower limb osteoarthritis (chi-squares=5.587, 7.640, Ps<0.05, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

The data presented support that dorsal spurs are in part the result of activities, but plantar spurs may be a more modern phenomena resulting from long periods of standing and excess weight.

PMID:
22560257
DOI:
10.1016/j.foot.2012.04.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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