Though spine bone spurs affect a large portion of individuals who have reached or exceeded middle age, they are sometimes widely misunderstood. People often imagine that bone spurs dig into nerves or other tissue with sharp, pointed edges. In reality, bone spurs, or osteophytes, are actually smooth excess growths of bone. Also contrary to popular belief, the mere presence of spinal bone spurs does not actually cause any serious problems. Whether they grow because of aging, disc degeneration, arthritis, poor posture, traumatic injury, overuse or some other cause, bone spurs can form to provide structural stability in the neck, back, joints and other areas of the body as an individual ages.
While spinal osteophytes can often develop without causing any harm, they can sometimes press against the spinal cord, a spinal nerve root, or other bone, causing a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Severe, localized pain in the neck or back
- Pain that radiates into the arms or legs
- Reduced range of motion
- Weakness in the extremities
- In some cases, disability
If you are experiencing any of the above bone spur symptoms , an X-ray can help determine if spine bone spurs are definitely to blame. If your physician determines that you are, in fact, suffering from a bone spur, he or she can help you determine the best treatment option. Bone spur treatments can include medications (i.e. anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers or pain relievers), cortisone injections, physical therapy or even surgery.
Many surgical options for treating spine and marginal bone spurs involve painful, lengthy recovery processes. But, the state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute can help relieve the symptoms of spinal osteophytes much more quickly, with less arduous recuperation periods and lower infection rates than traditional open spine surgery. For more information about our innovative procedures and to schedule a complimentary MRI or CT scan review, contact us today.