Can genetics lead to the development of spinal bone spurs?

The immediate cause of a bone spur is the friction between two bones, such as an arthritic joint, causing the development of these growths that are meant to stabilize the spine. The underlying causes, however, can be more difficult to determine. In addition to natural aging and lifestyle factors, genetic traits are believed to play a role.

If you are dealing with chronic symptoms related to a bone spur, learning more about the causes of your condition can be an important part of treatment. By being a more educated patient, you can work with your doctor to find the relief you deserve. You can also contact the caring team at Laser Spine Institute to learn more about your condition and the treatment options available.

Hereditary conditions and genetic predisposition

Sometimes, people are born with congenital spinal deformities that can lead to bone spur growth, such as scoliosis. There is evidence of a genetic predisposition to developing degenerative conditions that can cause spur growth later on in the course of their lives. These conditions include:

  • Osteoarthritis – the wearing away of the protective cartilage between the joints of the body
  • Degenerative disc disease – the breakdown of discs that cushion spinal vertebrae
  • Spinal stenosis – The narrowing of the openings of the spine, such as the central canal and the spaces between vertebrae

When diagnosing these conditions, doctors will often review a patient’s family medical history since degenerative spine issues do tend to run in families.

Other contributing causes of bone spurs

Genetics may have a role to play in bone spur growth, but they are far from the only factor. The overarching cause for most patients boils down to the aging process. However, bone spur growth can be brought about by sustaining injuries to the spine while playing sports or during an automobile accident. More rarely, the presence of infections or tumors in the spine can encourage bone spur growth.

Bone spurs typically cause symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness as a result of compression of nerves in the spinal column. These symptoms can often be treated conservatively, but surgery can become an option if symptoms do not improve after weeks or months and begin to seriously interfere with quality of life.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and to date we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our board-certified surgeons+ can perform these procedures on an outpatient basis and with less risk of complication than traditional neck or back surgery.

To learn more, reach out to our team today. We are pleased to offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.