When you should consider surgery to treat a spinal bone spur

If you’ve been diagnosed with a spinal bone spur, the prospect of surgery, and the recovery period that follows, can be a source of anxiety. However, for many people with this condition surgery is not required to find lasting relief. Many people who have spinal bone spurs do not experience disruptive symptoms and those who do are often able to manage their discomfort with conservative measures.

Whether you’ll need to consider surgery depends on the specifics of your diagnosis: where the bone spur is located, whether it’s compressing a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, what sort of symptoms you’re experiencing and how greatly they impact your life. While a physician will be able to evaluate your situation and discuss your best options with you, the following guidelines can help you determine if you might be able to avoid spinal bone spur surgery altogether.

Do your symptoms interfere with your regular routine?

The presence of a spinal bone spur doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience uncomfortable symptoms. Many people who have bone spurs don’t even know they’re there. While a bone spur often accompanies the aches and stiffness of arthritis, debilitating symptoms often only develop if the protrusion compresses a nerve root or the spinal cord. These symptoms can be mild enough they don’t prevent someone from working or participating in his or her daily routine. However, if you’re experiencing symptoms that make it difficult to have a good quality of life and conservative treatments have been exhausted, bone spur surgery might be a consideration.

Have you fully explored conservative treatment options?

Mild to moderate symptoms can often be controlled through conservative options such as prescription or over-the-counter pain medications, exercise or spinal injections or physical therapy. Alternative treatments such as chiropractic adjustment, therapeutic massage or acupuncture may also be beneficial. If these options are currently working for you, you may be able to continue without needing to turn to bone spur surgery. However, if conservative methods aren’t providing enough pain relief or if approaches that were once effective are no longer controlling your symptoms, it might be time to evaluate your surgical options.

If you are recommended to undergo spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures are performed using muscle-sparing techniques that allow for a streamlined outpatient experience. The result is less risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery and no lengthy recovery. ^

Find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures by receiving your no-cost MRI or CT scan review.*