Bone spurs develop when your body responds to arthritic changes in your spine. If you have arthritis symptoms, visit a Coastal Spine office in Mount Laurel, Sewell, Galloway, Toms River, Vineland, or West Orange, New Jersey. The practice’s experienced orthopedists and surgeons assess your spine and offer conservative or surgical treatment based on your diagnosis. Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online to learn more about the effective treatment of bone spurs.
Bone spurs are abnormal bony growths (osteophytes). Bone spurs in the spine develop on the vertebrae — the bones that form your spinal column.
Bone spurs aren’t dangerous, but they can cause inflammation and pain. They often interfere with other parts of your spine, including nerves, the spongy discs in between your vertebrae, and the ligaments and tendons that secure muscles and bones to each other.
If you have bone spurs, your Coastal Spine doctor can identify them with an X-ray, MRI, myelogram, CT scan, discography, or a bone scan.
Bone spurs have two different causes. One is a response to stress or pressure on the bone over a long period. The other is osteoarthritis, a result of aging. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage, a protective tissue covering the ends of bones, breaks down.
The bones become rough and pitted without the protection cartilage provides. They rub against each other, creating inflammation, swelling, and pain. Your body produces bone spurs to reinforce your spine when this happens.
Bone spur symptoms include:
Depending on where the bone spur forms, you can experience pain and other symptoms in your neck, arms, pelvis, or legs.
Coastal Spine offers several bone spur treatments. Your doctor will likely try anti-inflammatory medication first to reduce the pain and swelling and might recommend physical therapy. You could benefit from epidural steroid or facet joint injections if oral drugs don’t work.
Steroids are incredibly potent anti-inflammatories. Injecting them into the space around your spine or the facet joints affected by osteoarthritis maximizes the effect.
If these treatments haven’t helped, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove the bone spur (osteophytectomy). They usually perform this during decompression surgery to relieve nerve pressure from spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs.
During laminotomy and laminectomy, your surgeon removes some or all of the lamina (a piece of the vertebra) along with bone spurs. A similar procedure is a far lateral foraminotomy, where your surgeon removes bone and tissue to widen the foramen (the passageway where spinal nerve roots exit the spinal canal).
Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online to learn about the treatment of bone spurs.