A bone spur, or osteophyte, is a small, smooth projectrion that develops on the surface of a normal bone. Bone spurs can develop for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is in response to friction – for instance, the friction that occurs within arthritic joints that have lost their smooth coating of cartilage. When joints develop arthritis, the exposed bones within the joint rub against each other and create friction. That’s when the body may build up extra bone in an attempt to strengthen the joint. These growths of bone are called bone spurs, although this term is not entirely accurate since bone spurs are not sharp like a spur. As bone spurs grow larger, however, they can protrude into the nearby tissues, causing pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with bone spurs, you understand the frustration of the chronic pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and limited mobility that can be caused by this condition. Your first goal is to find a treatment option that will help relieve this pain and discomfort so you can get back to your daily activities.
Depending on the severity of your bone spurs, you may be able to find treatment through conservative methods. In fact, many patients with this condition are able to find effective pain relief without undergoing spine surgery. However, if several weeks or months of conservative treatments are not helping your pain, your doctor may recommend spine surgery.
While spine surgery may seem overwhelming, there are other spine surgery options that are safer and an effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery, such as the minimally invasive procedures offered at BEST. Researching the options available to you through the following article will help you make an informed and confident decision about your spine care needs.
Conservative Bone Spur Treatments
Many doctors will start the treatment process by recommending a regimen of nonsurgical treatment to help the pressure from the bone spur on a compressed nerve. Once this pressure is released, you should feel a decrease in your pain. Some of the most common nonsurgical bone spur treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation
- Physical therapy to relieve moderate to severe pain
- Cold therapy to help relieve inflammation and numb pain
- Heat therapy to loosen tense muscles and promote oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood flow to the affected area
Bone spurs are usually the result of spinal osteoarthritis and other deterioration, such as spinal joint pain. While conservative treatments can help reduce the symptoms of bone spurs, they do not always treat the source of your pain. If you have yet to find adequate relief after conservative therapy, contact BEST to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery.
If Bone Spur Treatment Becomes an Option
If spine surgery becomes an option, you should research the minimally invasive surgeries available through BEST Health System. Our patients can find peace of mind knowing that our procedures offer a lower risk of complication and infection as well as shorter recovery periods compared to traditional open back surgery.