Bone spur treatment options — find the treatment that is right for you
A bone spur is a small growth that can occur on the perimeter of your bones, usually in joints where two bones meet. When bone spurs form in the spine, they can compress the discs in between the vertebrae in your spine, causing the nerves in your spinal cord to be pinched. If your spinal canal is narrow, the formation of a bone spur can affect the surrounding nerve roots. While most bone spurs in the body cause no symptoms, bone spurs in the spine usually result in local and radiating pain. This is because the spinal canal is so narrow and in such close proximity to major nerve roots that even a small disturbance like a bone spur can cause debilitating pain.
If you have been diagnosed with bone spurs in your spine, there are several treatment options available to help alleviate and manage your pain. Treatments start as simply as conservative therapy and progress to surgical solutions. It is important that you determine which treatment option is best for you and your lifestyle. As you read through the available treatment options for your bone spur condition, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Our care team is ready to help you find relief for your neck and back pain.
Conservative Bone Spur Treatment
Conservative treatment options should always be your first choice when treating a spine condition such as bone spurs. Although conservative treatments won’t eliminate bone spurs, they can help minimize the pain and discomfort that occurs when the bone spur compresses a nerve root. There are several conservative treatment options, and most options can be combined to find a personalized routine to manage your pain.
Medication is perhaps the most commonly recommended conservative spinal bone spur treatment. Patients can use over-the-counter or prescription pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs to help control the symptoms of bone spurs. If oral pain medication is not helping to manage your pain, you may consider an epidural steroid injection, in which an anti-inflammatory steroid and a local numbing agent are injected directly into the epidural space of the spine to help manage the pain. A physician can prescribe a proper dosing regimen to meet your specific needs.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Physical therapy and exercise are also common forms of conservative bone spur treatment. A physical therapist can create a routine to help you stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the neck or back, while also improving flexibility and increasing range of motion. Strengthening the muscles around your spine might help relieve the pressure on the impacted nerve in your spinal cord. Low-impact exercise, such as walking, may also be beneficial in building the surrounding spinal muscles and alleviating pain.
Additional Conservative Treatment Options
In addition to medication and exercise, you may also find relief in certain treatment options, such as hot and cold compresses, acupuncture and chiropractic care. For instance, you may experience short-term pain relief by visiting a chiropractor or massage therapist, practicing yoga or using heat and ice packs to relax tight muscles and promote blood flow. If applicable, you might also consider lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and dietary adjustments, to improve your overall well-being and enhance the effects of other forms of bone spur treatment.
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Spinal Bone Spurs
If conservative bone spur treatment no longer manages your chronic pain, you might consider a minimally invasive procedure to remove the bone spur from your spine. Where conservative treatments aim only to manage your pain, surgical treatment options aim to eliminate the source of your pain, e.g., your bone spur.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a minimally invasive surgery alternative to traditional open neck or open back surgery. Our surgical procedures yield higher patient satisfaction rates and shorter recovery times§ due to our advanced surgical techniques and precision. We perform a number of minimally invasive procedures that can help address spinal bone spurs and other degenerative spine conditions. These surgeries include:
- Foraminotomy — This is a minimally invasive decompression surgery that relieves pressure on the nerve root in the foraminal canal.
- Laminotomy — A laminotomy is a minimally invasive decompression surgery in which a surgeon will relieve the pressure on the spinal cord due to a narrowing on the spinal canal.
- Discectomy — Bone spurs, among other spine conditions, can cause herniated or bulging discs to compress a surrounding nerve. During our minimally invasive discectomy procedure, a portion of the disc is removed to decompress the nerve and help relieve pain.
- Facet Thermal Ablation — If a facet joint in the spine becomes excessively deteriorated, a surgeon can use a laser to “deaden” the nerve that innervates the joint so that the nerve can no longer register pain. This procedure is also considered a minimally invasive decompression surgery.
For patients with severe cases of spinal bone spurs that cause the spine to become instable, we might recommend a minimally invasive stabilization surgery to help alleviate pain and stabilize the spine. Our minimally invasive stabilization surgeries include:
- Decompression with Interlaminar Stabilization® Device — This procedure is designed to decompress the impacted nerve by widening the spinal canal and inserting an Interlaminar Stabilization® device to immediately stabilize the spine.
- Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) — This procedure is designed to address instability in the lumbar (lower) part of the spine.
- Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) — This procedure allows surgeons to remove bone spurs or other materials that are compressing a nerve in the lumbar spine, then heighten the area to reduce the likelihood of further problems in the future, through small incisions in the sides of the abdomen.
- SI Joint Fusion — This procedure is used to join the pelvis and the sacrum, which can reduce the symptoms a patient is experiencing while helping the patient retain range of motion.
- Posterior Cervical Fusion — This procedure is performed to add extra support to the neck portion (cervical) of the spine, and can be an effective treatment for compression-related spinal instability.
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion (ACDF) — This procedure is designed to address instability problems in the cervical (upper) part of the spine in the neck.
- Cervical Disc Replacement — This procedure involves the replacement of a damaged or deteriorated intervertebral disc with an implant. This surgery is typically performed as an alternative to a fusion.
Laser Spine Institute has provided exceptional bone spur treatment to thousands of people from around the world, helping them find meaningful relief from neck and back pain. Take a moment and read through a few of our previous patient testimonials to see the lives we have touched.
If you are interested in learning more about our bone spur treatment options, or if you would like to find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures, please contact our Spine Care Consultants. We are ready to help you find the best treatment option so you can STAND TALL* and get back to your life.