Is surgery the only way to remove a bone spur?

Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are growths of bone that occur as a natural stabilizing response to friction, especially around the joints. While they can develop anywhere in the body, bone spurs very often develop in the spine due to the amount of stress the spinal facet joints experience on a day-to-day basis. A spinal bone spur is not painful by itself, but it can narrow and constrict the already tight nerve passages in the spine, leading to radiating symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

Conservative treatments like pain medication, physical therapy and hot and cold compression can be effective, but they don’t bring long-term relief for everyone. In these cases, bone spur surgery may be the best way to take pressure off an effected nerve and stop symptoms.

Is it possible to remove a bone spur without surgery?

The standard approach for removing a spinal bone spur has for years been a highly invasive traditional open spine surgery. However, this approach to removing a bone spur comes with some downsides, including risk of complication and a long recovery period, which most people would rather avoid.

While there are some experimental needle-based methods that attempt to break up bone spurs, they haven’t been fully accepted by the mainstream medical community. This is why doctors will typically try to have patients fully explore conservative treatment of bone spur-related symptoms before referring a patient to consult with a specialist for bone spur removal through surgery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery for bone spur removal

If your doctor has recommended bone spur surgery but you are anxious about the prospect of undergoing a highly invasive traditional open neck or back procedure, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. We perform minimally invasive spine surgery that uses muscle-sparing techniques to access the spine and treat a range of conditions, including spinal bone spurs. Our procedures offer patients the following advantages:

  • An outpatient procedure
  • Performed by board-certified surgeons+
  • A less than 1-inch incision
  • No lengthy recovery^

To learn more about our options for minimally invasive bone spur surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today. We can offer a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.