Spinal Bone Spurs
A bone spur (also known as an osteophytes) is a bony growth that develops most often where two or more bones meet. As these spurs develop and enlarge they can intrude on tissues and other surrounding structures. This can lead to mild, moderate, or intense pain in the impacted areas.
Bone spurs can develop on any bone in the body. The unique nature of the spine makes this a particularly bad place for the development of spurs as the spinal canal houses the spinal cord and the nerves. As the spurs grow they can begin to cause impingement (compression) of the spinal cord or nerves leading to pain, weakness, and functional difficulties.
Bone Spur Causes & Symptoms
Bone spurs develop over time as the body ages. They are the body’s natural way of repairing itself when bones rub up against one another over time.
Symptoms of bone spurs on the vertebrae include:
- Back or neck pain ranging from mild to extreme
- Difficulty moving
Diagnosing Spinal Bone Spurs
Diagnosis of bone spurs begins with a physical examination. If your physician believes that you may have a bone spur after a physical exam, an MRI or CT scan will then be ordered to confirm the condition.
Bone Spur Treatment Options
Treating bone spurs is sometimes not necessary. Spurs can be so minor that you don’t even notice. But under certain circumstances bone spurs can lead to pinched nerves, which are often extremely painful. If bone spurs are causing debilitating pain, it’s time to think about treatment options.
Treatment can be surgical or non-surgical. Non-surgical treatments can include:
- Physical therapy
- Injections to reduce the pain
- Pain medications such as muscle relaxers
These non-surgical options may relieve pain initially, but it will most likely return just as bad as before treatment.
Spine Surgery in Minneapolis
- Minimally Invasive Laminotomy (Lumbar and Cervical)
- Minimally Invasive Foraminotomy (Lumbar and Cervical)
- Traditional Laminotomy (Lumbar and Cervical)
- Traditional Foraminotomy (Lumbar and Cervical)
The majority of patients can be treated with minimally invasive surgery. The procedure is simple and done on an outpatient basis. Sometimes the compression is so severe or in a location that requires more traditional decompressions. Many of these can also be done as an outpatient. If you are suffering from symptoms related to bone spurs, which have not improved with non-surgical care, then contact Dr. Sinicropi – Minnesota back pain doctor – to discuss potential treatment options – 800.234.1826.