Five Things to Know about Spinal Bone Spurs

What is a Spinal Bone Spur?

A spinal bone spur can lead to pain and other symptoms that can inhibit your ability to lead a normal day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are treatment options that can help you to find relief and return to regular activity. At BEST Health System, our Cincinnati spine surgeon Dr. Keith Girton performs minimally invasive surgeries on patients with spine or orthopaedic conditions. 

A bone spur can appear anywhere in the body where, due to an injury or degenerative condition, bones begin to rub against each other. If this occurs with the vertebrae in the spine and a bone spur forms, the results can be both painful and annoying. Here are five important facts that can help you to better understand spinal bone spurs:

  1. Spinal bone spurs are most often the result of the natural degeneration the spine undergoes as it ages, which can cause the cartilage between the spine’s joints to wear away. They can also develop after traumatic injuries.
  2. When bone rubs against bone, the body often starts to build up calcium deposits in the area to protect the affected bones. This is how a bone spur forms.
  3. Spinal bone spurs often don’t produce any symptoms. However, when a bone spur puts pressure on a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord, symptoms may appear.
  4. Symptoms can include localized pain, pain that radiates down a nerve path to the extremities, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.
  5. To diagnose a spinal bone spur, your physician will likely review your medical history, perform a full physical exam, and have you undergo an imaging procedure such as an X-ray or MRI.

Spinal Bone Spur Treatment Options

Once a diagnosis has been made, your physician will likely suggest a daily treatment regimen that includes a combination of conservative options. These can include stretching and strengthening exercises to reduce the strain on the spine, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections. If you attempt a conservative treatment regimen and are still experiencing painful symptoms after several months, your physician may suggest surgery as an option. However, with advanced technology, open back surgery is no longer the only option. Before deciding on a treatment path, it is important to explore all surgical options. 

Surgery with Dr. Keith Girton

Dr. Keith Girton, our board-certified Cincinnati spine and orthopaedic surgeon, specializes in minimally invasive procedures. This means that Dr. Girton’s patients can expect a shorter recovery time and a less than one-inch incision. At BEST Health System, we believe in helping patients find the treatment route that is least invasive. If you are interested in learning more about surgery with Dr. Girton, contact us today