Can you recover from spinal bone spurs without surgery?

Conservative bone spur treatment — that is, medications and other nonsurgical therapies — can help many people with spinal bone spurs adequately manage their symptoms. However, conservative therapies are only intended to help alleviate pain and discomfort. Unlike surgical treatment, nonsurgical therapies are not aimed at removing the bone spur from the body or addressing nerve root or spinal cord compression. Many individuals are able to treat their bone spurs without surgery, but in some cases, it may be necessary to consider surgical options.

Bone spurs are not always symptomatic

Bone spurs typically do not cause pain or discomfort simply because they exist. In fact, many individuals have spinal bone spurs and do not experience any symptoms. Discomfort occurs when the excess bone, which develops on the surface of an existing bone, pinches a nerve root or the spinal cord.

Treating bone spurs without surgery

Before considering bone spur surgery, patients often use a combination of conservative treatments, including over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, corticosteroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications and exercise. Physical therapy is often helpful as well.

If bone spur-related symptoms still persist despite several attempts at conservative treatment, surgery might become a consideration. It is possible for surgeons to create additional space in the spinal canal to accommodate the presence of a bone spur, or even remove the bone spur from the body. Facet thermal ablation can also be used to deaden a nerve ending inside an arthritic joint, eliminating the transmission of pain signals along that nerve.

At Laser Spine Institute, we perform several minimally invasive outpatient procedures for spinal bone spurs. If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort that hasn’t gone away with conservative bone spur treatment, you can contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about your surgical options.