Questions? Call Toll-Free 1-

Contact us today. We're here for you seven days a week.

Contact Us By Phone 1-
Am I a Candidate for Surgery? Learn More
Request an MRI Review Submit Information

Cervical Osteophytes


Cervical Osteophytes

Cervical osteophytes, also known as cervical bone spurs, appear in the spinal vertebrae of the neck. An osteophyte is a bony protuberance that the body sometimes produces in response to a weakened spine. However, rather than helping the spine, the bone spurs can actually create more problems by infringing on the foramina, which are the open spaces on either side of the vertebrae through which spinal nerves pass.

Cervical osteophytes and osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints. In the spine, osteoarthritis specifically affects the facet joints, which are the hinges that connect adjacent vertebrae and facilitate the spine’s mobility. These joints are covered by cartilage and, with time, the cartilage begins to wear away, causing the vertebrae to rub together. The friction in and of itself can be painful, but when bone spurs form at the site of the arthritic joints, symptoms can be compounded.

Symptoms of cervical osteophytes resulting from osteoarthritis

Neural compression due to cervical osteophytes can cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain that stays localized in the neck
  • Pain that begins in the neck and travels through the shoulders, arms and hands
  • Tingling in the neck and arms
  • Throbbing, aching or burning pain
  • Crepitus, or the audible sound of bone grinding against bone
  • Spontaneous joint lockage

Treatment for osteoarthritis

Although osteophytes in the spine will not heal themselves, most patients find that non-surgical, conservative treatments allow them to manage their symptoms effectively. Physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medication, mild stretching and massage are good methods with which to begin. Additionally, patients can alter their treatment plans to include physician-recommended prescription medication or anti-inflammatory steroid injections. If weeks or months of these treatments do not offer sufficient pain relief, surgery for osteophytes could become an option.

How can Laser Spine Institute help?

Many traditional surgeries aimed at combating osteoarthritis or lumbar, thoracic or cervical osteophytes are open spine operations. These surgeries are massively invasive and involve hospitalization, muscle trauma and the possibility of nerve damage. However, there are more effective alternatives — Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive procedures that target the source of your neck or back pain. Our surgical techniques allow for an outpatient procedure, which means you can find relief from neck or back pain as quickly as possible and experience a faster recovery than with traditional open spine surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.

Need an immediate response?

Our live chat feature allows you to talk instantly with a representative.

  • - -

Download your free info packet on
Minimally Invasive
Spine Surgery

& receive our e-newsletter.



También disponible en español

What is Laser Spine Surgery? Can Laser Spine Institute Help You?

You can get these answers by attending a complimentary medical seminar.

Back to Health

Be inspired, informed and connected.

Expert answers, informational videos and inspiring stories of patients who returned to life at its fullest with Laser Spine Institute.


Laser Spine Wellness

Patient Reviews and Stories

Natalie Gulbis shares her story about her road to recovery from back pain after minimally invasive surgery.



Learn about Natalie Gulbis' Recovery

Meet our Physicians and Surgeons

Our medical professionals know that you expect excellence in terms of medical attention. We strive to go Above and Beyond your expectations and deliver quality, patient-centered care at each of our surgery centers.

Learn about our physicians & medical staff