A bone spur in the back can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in the back, ribs, torso, hips, buttocks and/or legs, any number of spinal conditions could be causing your discomfort. Make an appointment with your primary care physician or a spine specialist to discuss your symptoms and to find out if a bone spur is the cause of your back pain.
What is a bone spur?
A bone spur, also called an osteophyte, is a smooth enlargement of the body’s natural bone structure. The body creates a bone spur in the back as a response to pressure that is being placed on the spine, bone-on-bone contact or a loss of bone density, either because of the natural aging process or any number of spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease and facet disease, among others. The mere presence of a bone spur will not cause you to experience any discomfort; it is only when the\ bone spur comes into contact with the spinal cord or a spinal nerve that symptoms appear.
Diagnosing the condition
A physician or spine specialist likely will perform a number of steps as a means of diagnosing your spinal condition. These may include:
- Asking a series of questions pertaining to your symptoms, family history and overall level of health
- Palpate your spine to determine which region is affected
- Order diagnostic testing, such as an MRI, CT scan or X-ray, to detect the presence of a bone spur in your back
Treating the condition
If your physician diagnoses you with a spinal bone spur, he or she will work with you to develop a conservative, non-invasive treatment plan that may include over-the-counter medication and physical therapy. If these treatments fail to provide relief, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive procedures, which are more effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.