Bone spurs (osteophytes) are small, pointed outgrowths that occur on the surface of bones. They are usually a result of inflammation caused by tendonitis or degenerative arthritis. Sometimes bone spurs do not cause symptoms, when they do, the type of symptoms will depend on their location. You physician will detect bone spurs by performing radiologic testing.
Causes of Bone Spurs
The most common cause of bone spurs is osteoarthritis. As this degenerative disease breaks down the cartilage that cushions the tips of your bones, your body will try to repair this loss by developing bone spurs surrounding the damaged area. This additional bone increases the amount of available surface area, improving load bearing.
Treatments for Bone Spurs
You will only need treatment for bone spurs if they are causing symptoms. Treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and preventing re-injury. Types of treatment include:
- weight loss—to reduce pressure on the joints
- ultrasound or deep tissue massage
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- changing footwear (for bone spurs in the feet or heels)
- cortisone injections
If the bone spurs are causing severe discomfort, they may be surgically removed. A laminectomy is designed to eliminate pain by removing bone spurs and tightened ligaments that cause nerve compression. Surgery often produces good results and several years of relief.
Our expert physicians at Atlanta Spine Surgery have been caring for patients for over three decades. Our cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities mean we can offer you the best possible care available, with a unique care plan to suit your individual needs. We are proud to be able to offer the most minimally invasive procedures for treating bone spurs as well as complete rehabilitation programs. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help to treat your bone spurs.