What is a Bone Spur?
Spinal bone spurs aren’t always symptomatic, although they can cause significant discomfort if they compress a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord. These small, smooth calcium deposits (also known as osteophytes) are typically produced by the body in response to bone-on-bone friction. This occurs when the cartilage between the joints wears away as a result of osteoarthritis. Bone spurs can also be caused by traumatic injuries, degenerative disc disease, and the natural aging process.
If a bone spur pinches a nerve root or the spinal cord, it can cause severe pain at the site of the compression. It can also cause pain that travels along the path of the affected nerve. For instance, nerve root compression in the neck can cause tingling, numbness, and radiating pain in the arms and hands, while nerve root compression in the lower back can cause the same symptoms in the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet.
How to Manage Your Bone Spur Symptoms
In many cases, the symptoms of a bone spur-related nerve root or spinal cord compression can be managed through nonsurgical therapies, such as medications and physical therapy. Corticosteroid injections, stretching, and exercise can also help, as can alternative therapies such as acupuncture and therapeutic massage. Specifically avoiding pain-inducing activities, such as repetitive bending, twisting, or standing for an extended period of time, can also help patients deal with the pain caused by spinal bone spurs.
While often beneficial, only utilize conservative therapies for symptom control. Unlike surgery, nonsurgical therapies do not actually treat the bone spur or alleviate the compression. For this reason, your doctor may recommend surgery if nonsurgical treatments do not reduce symptoms.
Surgery with BEST Health System
Your spine surgery may perform one of the following procedures to treat a spinal bone spur. These include:
- Facet thermal ablation
At BEST Health System, we perform these procedures using minimally invasive, muscle-sparing techniques. As a result, our surgeries have no lengthy recovery periods, and patients are up and walking on the same day as their procedure.
Contact BEST Health System today to learn more about surgery with BEST Health System.