A member asked:

How can youtell the difference between a hairline or stress fra, ture and heel spur without xray . i have no insurance?

5 doctors weighed in across 3 answers
Dr. Jeffery VanYperen answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Difficult: A stress fracture is usually more acutely painful, and it hurts with side-to side compression of the heel--probably will feel better after a month after resting. Heel spur pain is usually more pronounced in the morning and end of the day (or walking after sitting for a while), and can be more chronic; however, both conditions can feel very similar. X ray would be the most accurate way to know.

Answered 4/11/2013

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Dr. Blake Miller answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Surgery

You can't : Physical exam gives you an idea that a bone may be fractured, but an x-ray confirms the diagnosis.

Answered 8/7/2017

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Dr. Jason Rubin answered

Specializes in Podiatry

You cannot tell: If the heel hurts with side-to-side compression then clinically that can clue you into a stress fracture of the calcaneus as opposed to a symptomatic heel spur. However, the diagnosis can only be confirmed with imaging. An x-ray can confirm a heel spur but will not necessarily confirm a stress fracture. You may need an MRI performed if you cannot see the stress fracture on x-ray.

Answered 7/7/2015

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