Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, are bony projects that form along bone edges where bones meet each other, in the joints. Bone spurs may also form on vertebrae.
Symptoms of Bone Spurs
Many individuals with bone spurs don’t experience any symptoms and might not know they have bone spurs until an X-ray reveals the growths.
Symptoms may develop depending on where the bone spurs are located:
- Knee. Bone spurs that form in the knee can cause pain when extending and bending the leg.
- Spine. Vertebrae that develop bone spurs can experience pinching of the spinal cord or its nerve roots and cause weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.
- Hip. Bone spurs on the hip can lead to pain when moving the hip or knee. The growths can also reduce range of motion in the hip joint.
Bone spurs may also form on the foot (particularly in the heel, big toe, and ankle), hand, finger, neck, and shoulder.
Increased pressure on nerves
Rubbing against bones or tissues
Knobby or bumpy areas
Numbness and weakness
- Pain near the affected joint
- Reduced range of motion
- Tendon tears
Patients with arthritis are more likely to develop bone spurs.
Causes of Bone Spurs
Joint damage from osteoarthritis is the primary cause of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, which is the firm, flexible tissue that cushions bones and allows joints to move freely. The condition develops with age or after damage caused by an injury. When the body tries to repair cartilage, it creates new bone material called osteophytes.
Ankylosing spondylitis, a rare form of arthritis, is another potential cause of bone spurs.
Over time, the condition fuses, or connects, the small bones in the spine (vertebrae), which leads the body to respond by forming spinal osteophytes.
Patients experiencing pain caused by bone spurs may achieve pain relief after treatment with injections and pain management techniques.
A few types of joint and soft tissue injections offered at Premier Urgent Care include nerve blocks, epidural injections, piriformis injections, sacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections. Patients should speak to their physician to find out if their condition could improve with joint and soft tissue injections.
Pain management techniques can also help patients minimize pain caused by bone spurs. A few techniques that could bring pain relief include cold and heat therapy, gentle exercise, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, cognitive behavior therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, music therapy, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Depending on the location and type of pain, patients will need to utilize a unique combination of pain management techniques.
Some patients may need advanced treatment, such as chiropractic adjustment, physical therapy, and even surgery. Premier Urgent Care supports patients needing a range of treatments for bone spurs. Staff is available to answer any questions about obtaining advanced treatment.
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