Bone Spur


A bone spur is an abnormal bone growth. Bone spurs in the neck occur on the vertebrae. They are not dangerous, but they can cause inflammation and interfere with the function of other parts in the spine, like ligaments, discs, tendons and nerves. A bone spur is also referred to as an osteophyte.


Bone spurs can result from two different causes:

  • A response to pressure or stress on the bone over a long period of time.
  • Osteoarthritis is a result of the normal aging process that breaks down cartilage, which is the tissue that covers the ends of bones. This causes pain and swelling, resulting in the body creating bone spurs to try to correct the problem.

Bone Spur Symptoms

  • Back ache
  • Pain, numbness or weakness in other areas depending where the bone spur has formed
  • You may experience shooting or radiating pain in your arms, leg or neck


The first step toward diagnosis and bone spur treatment is a physical exam by one of our physicians. They can also be diagnosed by X-ray, MRI, myelogram, bone scan, discography, CT scan or an EMG.


We have several bone spur treatment methods.

  • Physical therapy: often, bone spurs discs can be treated non-surgically with muscle and core exercises and stretches.
  • Medication: prescriptions for anti-inflammatory medications are common to reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Surgery: if surgery is required for a bone spur disc, treatment can often be provided in an outpatient setting with a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The procedures are completed either in our spine dedicated surgical center or the local spine accredited hospital.


Types of possible surgery: