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What Is a Spur On Your Toe?

What Is a Spur On Your Toe?

A spur on the toe is essentially the enlargement of the toe bone or a bony outgrowth occurring next to the joint. The bone spur on the toe is medically termed as Exostosis. At times, when a person gets such enlarged areas of bone it causes pain. Such pain can be between the toes, next to the toenail, or even under the toenail. Bone spurs occurring under the toenail is called subungual exostosis.

What Is a Spur On Your Toe?

How Would You Know If You Have A Spur On Your Toe?

Bone spurs on the toe can be understood by the experience of pain. The patient should make an appointment to the doctor for proper diagnosis in case of painful symptoms-

  • When a person having a bone spur on the toe wears shoes, the outgrowth may press against the neighboring toe and cause pain. Such pain may be minor initially which can be controlled with pads and wider shoes.
  • As time passes by, the pain may become unbearable. In such time the advice for the best treatment from a doctor should be sought.
  • It is important to know that there are many nerve endings in the toes and the bone spurs so formed may prick such nerves causing excruciating pain. Such pain becomes unbearable even by just wearing socks.
  • The bony outgrowth or enlarged bone spur may irritate heavily by breaking the skin. Such irritation may cause infection. This worsens the condition where the patient may have to seek medical help as soon as possible.
  • Some forms of bone spurs may occur at the tip of the toe. These may rub at the bottom of the shoes the patient wears causing pain. Such areas are prone to develop hard skin causing corns due to the abnormal amount of pressure.

How Can Bone Spurs On Toes Be Diagnosed?

When the patient visits the doctor with the painful symptoms in the toe, he may ask the patient to go for an X-ray. In order to diagnose the problem correctly, an X-ray is mandatory. The radiations in the X-ray help reveal the presence of minute bone spur which lies under the painful corns. It should be remembered that it is the presence of the bone spurs which are the true cause of the painful symptoms, and not the corns. Treatment procedure follows after the detection of the bone spurs in the specific locations.

Can Bone Spurs In Toe Be Treated At Home?

It should be understood that treating bone spurs at home is a difficult task. Patients try topical antifungal creams and numerous ways to remove the corn. Such corn medications can remove some of the painful corns, but this is completely temporary. It should be known that the corns will return because the underlying bone spurs form the corns. Antifungal creams are seen to be essentially ineffective because the conditions do not form due to fungus. Patients may place a soft pad between the toes, to reduce the pain, but then again, pads can be irritating. They tend to move around and fail to stick at one place. Also, the sticky adhesive can create increased pressure. Above all, placing pads in between toes is not a permanent solution.

What Is The Best Treatment For Bone Spur On The Toe?

Once the doctor detects the location of the bone spur on the toe with the help of the X-ray, the best treatment is surgery which takes around a maximum time of 15 minutes. A tiny incision is made on the location using local anaesthesia. The bone spur is removed out and the cut is closed. The patient immediately becomes able to walk without any pain. The corns disappear within a month.


  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2021). Foot and Ankle Conditioning Program https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/foot-and-ankle-conditioning-program

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2023

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