A bone spur is a painful bump on the top of the foot which is actually a bony enlargement.

This bump is common where the first toe joint meets with the mid-foot. It grows in response from friction or pressure from an imbalance.

It often becomes irritated and painful.

In addition, it may create a soft tissue bursae (sac of fluid) or Ganglion cyst.

If you are very flat-footed or pronate (roll inward at the ankle) too much, or if you are bow-legged and have excessive heel wear on the outsides of your shoes, this may lead to a bone spur on the top of the foot or possibly a bunion joint on the sides of the foot.

Arthritis often results from the friction and wear and tear of the joint. In the early stages, biomechanical foot balancing with an orthotic and a change of lacing design may be helpful.

Try to skip over the bump with the lace and cross the lace behind the bump.

In more severe cases, a procedure to reduce the bump or the arthritis will give relief.

Most important is the fact that one must always understand the cause and effect principle so that there is no reoccurrence of the existing problem.

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Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons and has a practice in Darien: The Foot & Ankle Institute of Darien. For more information, visit his website at www.therunningdoctor.net.