What is a Bone Spur?

A bone spur is an outgrowth of bone that can occur along the edges of a bone. It is also called an osteophyte. Bone spurs can form in any bone but are most commonly found in joints, where two or more bones come together. They also occur where muscles, ligaments, or tendons attach to the bone.

Bone Spurs can occur in any bone in the body (such as the feet) but here we concentrate on spinal bone spurs.

Lumbar osteophytes, or bone spurs, are growths that form on the joints in the lower back as a result of degenerative changes to the spine. … When a bone spur is impinging on a nerve in the lumbar spine, it can cause symptoms of radiating pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the legs and feet.

Bone spurs diagram

As the nerves become compressed, patients with bone spurs complain of several neurological symptoms including:

  • Pain in one or both arms or legs.
  • Numbness or tingling in one or both arms or legs.
  • Progressive weakness in one or both arms or legs.
  • In very rare cases, bowel and bladder incontinence may occur.

Bone spurs will not go away on their own, but there is no reason to rush into the decision of undergoing surgery.

We here at Spine Backrack do not believe that surgery is the answer,  however the type of treatments currently available are:

  • Medications (addictive-not recommended)
  • Short period of rest
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Cortisone epidural steroid injections (short relief, not recommended)
  • Surgery (not recommended)

It is much better to manage the osteophyte than to operate or undertake the above which have other side effects.