What are the risks and treatments for bone spurs?

Bone spurs can form along the spine as the ligaments and joints that connect the vertebrae begin to break down, threatening spinal stability. This gradual degeneration can occur at any level of the spine and is a natural part of aging. Through the years, the spine deteriorates as a result of the daily wear endured by the bones, ligaments, cartilage and other spinal tissue.

Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are bony growths produced by the body in response to arthritis development. Most osteophytes are asymptomatic, although symptoms can arise if the bone spur irritates or compresses a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord itself. Read on to learn about the risks and treatment options associated with this debilitating condition.

Risk factors for bone spurs

There are several risk factors that can lead to the development of bone spurs, including:

  • Age. People 45 or older are more likely to develop arthritis of the spine, which can lead to bone spur development.
  • Overused joints. This can occur through repetitive lifting, bending or twisting.
  • Injury or trauma to bones. Whiplash, compression fractures or other kinds of injuries can hasten the degeneration of joints.
  • Obesity. Excess body weight places more stress on the joints.
  • Genetics. Inherited traits can produce conditions experienced by family members.
  • Other conditions. Decreased blood supply, chronic illness, infection or a diminished immune system can contribute to joint degradation.

Treatment for bone spurs

Symptoms associated with bone spurs usually can be managed successfully through conservative treatment methods, such as pain medication, chiropractic treatments and physical therapy. If chronic pain persists after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery might be considered. However, a patient should never feel as if highly invasive traditional open spine surgery is the only option for this chronic condition.

Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of outpatient procedures designed to alleviate neck or back pain associated with bone spurs. Our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery^ and we have had the privilege of helping more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic pain since 2005. Contact our dedicated team today so we can help you on your journey to wellness.

Our surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order remove the offending structure that is pinching the nerves or spinal cord, thereby providing patients with lasting relief from their bone spur symptoms. Reach out to Laser Spine Institute to learn more and ask for a no-cost MRI review* to determine whether you may be a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.