Is bone spur removal through surgery my only treatment option?

If you have been diagnosed with spinal bone spurs, you may be wondering if bone spur surgery is your only treatment option. While surgery can be used to remove these excess bone growths — also known as osteophytes — to help relieve your neck or back pain, your doctor will likely recommend a series of nonsurgical treatments first to try to relieve your symptoms without resorting to surgery. As you discuss treatment options with your doctor, it can help to research some background information on bone spurs and bone spur removal options so you can play an active role in the conversation about your treatment.

What is a bone spur?

As you age, bone spurs are a common occurrence that can spring up at multiple locations in your body. However, these bone growths are frequently misunderstood. The term spur leads many people to believe that osteophytes are sharp, pointed growths. Actually, bone spurs are smooth growths that do not necessarily cause any problems. They can develop for a number of reasons, such as aging, arthritis, spinal disc degeneration, traumatic injury, poor posture or overuse of joints. When these excess bone formations compress a nerve or other bone, that’s when problems can arise and bone spur removal may become necessary.

What treatments are available other than bone spur surgery?

Bone spurs along the spinal column can cause debilitating symptoms. For instance, bone spurs at any location along your spinal column can cause severe neck and/or back pain, restricted movement, radiating arm and leg pain, weakness in the extremities and numbness.

If your physician has concluded that bone spurs are the cause for any of these symptoms you’ve been experiencing, there are a number of bone spur treatment options you can choose from. Some are as simple as medications — such as pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers — while other bone spur treatments involve physical therapy, weight loss, exercise and rest. However, some bone spurs require more involved treatments, such as surgery for bone spur removal.

Traditional surgical treatments are invasive open back procedures and they typically require a lengthy, sometimes painful, recovery process. However, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery, which can accomplish bone spur removal to give you relief from the painful symptoms of bone spurs. Our muscle-sparing techniques offer a faster recuperation time^ and less risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery. To learn more about our treatment options and our state-of-the-art surgery centers, contact us today.

We are pleased to offer potential patients a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if they may be a candidate for one of our procedures.