Six Things to Consider Before Seeking Surgery for a Bone Spur

If you’ve been diagnosed with a bone spur in your neck or back you may be wondering what you can expect as time goes on. Perhaps you’re already experiencing pain or other debilitating symptoms because the bone spur is putting pressure on a nerve. This is usually why a bone spur, also known as an osteophyte, becomes noticeable.

Bone spurs are smooth bony deposits that can form on your spinal vertebrae or joints. Often as a result of a degenerating spinal disc that fails to cushion the bony components of your spine properly. In and of themselves, bone spurs aren’t usually painful. When they press on a spinal nerve, however, they can cause the nerve to send out false signals. These signals can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the neck or back or another part of the body that’s along the nerve pathway. 

Bone Spurs Surgical Procedure

There are surgical procedures – both traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive techniques – that seek to alleviate the debilitating symptoms that sometimes occur with a bone spur in the spine. However, for many patients diagnosed with this condition, doctors recommend trying nonsurgical treatments first. Many people can find relief from pain or other symptoms caused by a bone spur by taking anti-inflammatory medication, applying hot or cold compresses, incorporating stretching exercises into their routine, and trying other conservative treatments. If those methods don’t bring relief, some people will pursue acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and other alternative approaches as treatment for their symptoms. 

If you have diligently pursued conservative treatments for several weeks or months without experiencing symptom relief, your thoughts may turn to surgery. Before you pursue surgery, however, you’ll want to talk these six things over with your doctor. 

  1. What are the pros and cons of surgery for my specific bone spur condition?
  2. What are the risks and outcomes of bone spur surgery?
  3. How long will I have to remain in the hospital after the operation?
  4. How long is the recovery time and what restrictions can I expect?
  5. Will I be able to return to work or resume important daily activities and if so at what point?
  6. Do I have options for surgery that can reduce scarring, risk of complications, and required recovery time?

How BEST Can Help

If you’re considering bone spur surgery, you may be interested in the minimally invasive outpatient surgery available at BEST Health System. Our procedures provide many advantages versus open spine surgery, including a lower risk of complication and shorter recovery times. We can help you find out whether you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery at BEST Health System with our on-site MRI. Feel free to contact us today!