Open Access Open Badges Research article

Changes in prevalence of calcaneal spurs in men & women: a random population from a trauma clinic

Hechmi Toumi1*, Ryan Davies2, Marija Mazor1, Raphael Coursier134, Thomas M Best5, Rachid Jennane1 and Eric Lespessailles1

Author Affiliations

1 EA4708 Orleans University, IPROS, CHRO, 1, rue Porte-Madeleine, BP 2439, Orleans cedex 1 45032, France

2 Princess of Wales Hospital, Coity road, Bridgend, Wales CF31 1RQ, UK

3 Groupement des Hôpitaux de l’Institut Catholique de Lille (GHICL)/Faculté Libre de Médecine, F-59000 Lille, France

4 Département de traumatologie-orthopédie France, UC Lille, Lille, France

5 Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Sports Health And Performance Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43221, USA

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:87  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-87

Published: 15 March 2014



This study reports the changing prevalence of ankle (Achilles and plantar) spurs with age, in order to comment on their significance to rheumatologists.


1080 lateral ankle radiographs from each of 9 (50 men and 50 women) age cohorts from 2 to 96 years old of patients attending a trauma clinic were examined and spurs classified as small or large.


The prevalence of both Achilles and plantar spurs in relation to the age categories and sex was variable. Overall, there was 38% of the population who had a spur (Achilles or plantar) and only third (11%) with spurs at both sites (Achilles and plantar). Large spurs were more prevalent in older individuals (40 to 79 years). There were no large plantar spurs in individuals <40 years of age and only 2% for the Achilles. The prevalence of spurs (Achilles and plantar) was significantly higher for woman than men in individuals <50 years of age. There was a notable moderate positive correlation (r = 0.71) between both plantar and Achilles spurs for women <30 years of age but no correlation for men (r = -0.03).


Plantar and Achilles spurs are highly prevalent in older people and the radiographic appearance of spurs differs between men and women. In individuals < 50 years of age, spur (Achilles and plantar) formation is more common in women than in men. Additionally, there was a notable moderate positive correlation between Achilles and plantar spurs for women <30 years of age.

Achilles; Plantar; Spur; Men; Women