Also known as osteophytes, bone spurs happen when bone grows over damaged area of bone structure. This is commonly caused by arthritis of the spine. Bone spurs can contribute to more serious conditions like nerve root impingement and spinal stenosis, especially when untreated.
Symptoms of bone spurs
- Loss of motion
- Radiating pain
Bone spur complications
- Arthritis of the Spine. Bone spurs happen as a normal part of aging. They’re often found in patients with spinal arthritis. As the joints of the spine degenerate, bone wears down. Bone spurs occur when the body attempts to stabilize that deteriorated area by replacing bone.
- Spinal Stenosis. This condition may occur when bone spurs become so enlarged that they protrude into the nerve pathways of the spine. This can also lead to nerve root impingement.
Bone spur diagnosis
Physical examinations and MRI imaging give us the ability to see exactly where overgrowth of bone spurs are occurring and whether or not nerves are being affected. Bone spurs are not irregular by nature, but when they grow irregularly they lead to pain and spinal conditions.
Bone spur treatments
Patients with bone spurs should see a spine specialist and neurosurgeon promptly. Treatment can prevent permanent spine damage and further issues.
Physical therapy can be very effective in lowering or eliminating the risk of further damage to the bone structures of the spine. Patients who are experiencing pain from bone spurs are often candidates for interventional pain management techniques. In some cases, minimally invasive laser spine surgery can be used to correct abnormalities caused by bone spurs.