Are there alternatives to bone spur surgery?

Pain and other symptoms related to a spinal bone spur can get in the way of living the life you want. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition you may be wondering if a surgical procedure is going to be necessary to find lasting relief. The good news is there are many specific treatments that are alternatives to spinal bone spur surgery to pursue first.

Doctors and patients alike view spine surgery as a last-resort treatment option for spinal bone spurs due to effectiveness of conservative treatment options. In fact, many patients are able to find the relief needed for a good quality of life without ever having to resort to surgery.

Where to start your bone spur treatment

Before spinal bone spur surgery ever becomes a serious consideration, the first step to your treatment process should be to find a doctor you’re comfortable with, such as your primary care physician or a spine specialist. Be prepared to ask questions, explain your situation in detail and try to develop a rapport. This is important because bone spur treatment can be an involved process that takes several weeks or months and having a good relationship is fundamental to the communication process required for effective treatment.

Here are examples of the types of bone spur treatments your doctor may initially recommend:

  • Medication. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers or pain relievers may be appropriate for short-term relief. This approach can also be helpful because it can make it easier to pursue other treatments like exercise and stretching that would otherwise be too uncomfortable to attempt without medication.
  • Low-impact exercise. While patients in pain are often skeptical of physical activity when they’re struggling with the symptoms of a spinal bone spur, exercise can be very effective. Specific, targeted exercise methods can strengthen the muscles that support the neck and back, taking pressure off parts of the spine.
  • Alternative and complementary medicine. Many patients rely on complementary and alternative medicine in their quest to avoid bone spur surgery. While these methods have yet to be fully accepted within the mainstream medical community, some individuals report treatments such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and other holistic remedies to be effective.

When to consider bone spur surgery

If you and your doctor have decided that conservative and alternative options have been fully exhausted, you may be referred to a surgeon for a consultation. It is critical to be aware of the full range of surgical options, including minimally invasive alternatives to traditional open spine procedures.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our surgeons have been able to help 60,000 patients since 2005. Learn more about the benefits of our outpatient procedures by contacting one of our Spine Care Consultants today.

We are happy to offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.