The hurdler Liu Xiang is probably the second most famous athlete from China outside of Yao Ming. It was crushing to the Chinese when Liu Xiang had to pull out of the hurdles in the Olympics, an even he holds the world record in. At the time it was reported he had a tendon injury, but it’s now specified. It turns out he had bone spurs between his Achilles tendon and foot bone. Ouch.
A hurdler puts a huge amount of stress on the legs, especially the feet. The feet are used to push over the next hurdle and to cushion the landing. A bone spur causes issues due to the pain and tenderness they cause.
What are foot bone spurs? We need to look at what bone spurs in general are comprised of. Technically knowns as osteophytes, bone spurs are painful outgrowths of bone formation. In most cases they are caused by aging and add to the deterioration of joint performance. In Lie Xiang’s case it’s likely his bone spurs are a result of his mechanics in hurdling. He has a unique method of running the hurdles, which might be the cause. Your bones will adjust due to improper mechanics.
What are the symptoms of foot bone spurs? The first problem is going to be tenderness followed by burning and pain. Although you can deal with the pain the real issue becomes inflammation and tendon damage. Due to the fact Liu Xiang has a bone spur near his Achilles tendon, you would expect to see his range of motion and strength to be affected.
How do you treat foot bone spurs? Surgery. There is no magic drug. In Liu Xiang’s case he tried ancient Chinese medicine without any help. The surgery is an open surgery, which means you’ll be cut open or it can be done arthroscopically. The surgeon will go in and shave off the bone spurs.
How long does it take to recover from foot bone spurs? Due to the fact it’s surgery, you’re looking at a longer recovery time. In most cases you can begin training in 6 months. You will need physical therapy and constant follow-up to determine if the bone spurs reoccur.