Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are growths of bone that occur as a natural stabilization response to friction, especially around the joints. While they can develop anywhere in the body, they very often develop in the spine. This is due to the amount of stress the spinal joints experience on a daily basis. A spinal bone spur is not pain by itself. However, it can narrow and constrict the already tight nerve passages in the spine, leading to radiating symptoms. These symptoms can include pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.
Conservative treatments like pain medication, physical therapy, and hot/cold compression can be effective but they don’t bring long-term relief for everyone. In these cases, bone spur surgery may be the best way to take pressure off an infected nerve and stop symptoms.
Can a Bone Spur be Removed Without Surgery
The standard approach for removing a spinal bone spur has for years been a highly invasive traditional open spine surgery. However, this approach of removing it comes with some downsides, including a long recovery period and risk of complications, which most people would rather avoid.
While there are some experimental needle-based methods that attempt to break up bone spurs, they haven’t been fully accepted by the mainstream medical community. This is why doctors will typically try to have patients fully explore the conservative treatment for their symptoms before referring a patient to consult with a specialist for bone spur removal through surgery.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery with BEST
If your doctor has recommended bone spur surgery but you are anxious about the prospect of undergoing a highly invasive traditional open neck or back procedure, reach out to BEST Health System. We perform minimally invasive spine surgery that uses muscle-sparing techniques to access the spine and treat a range of conditions. Our procedures offer patients the following advantages:
- An outpatient procedure
- Performed by board-certified surgeons, Dr. Girton and Dr. Abbott
- An incision that is typically less than an inch
- No lengthy recovery
To learn more about your options for minimally invasive surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today.