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What is a Bone Spur?

A bone spur is a small projection of extra bone that forms at the ends of bones, usually in joints. It’s not a sharp or painful bone growth, but it can cause discomfort when it presses against other bones or rubs against nerves or tendons.

It can happen due to aging or from conditions like osteoarthritis, which causes the cartilage in a joint to wear out. If this happens, a bone spur may form in response to the body’s attempt to repair that damage.


Bone spurs are overgrowths of bone that form along the edges of bones — usually around joints. They look like hard bumps that can be painful when they rub against other bones, muscles, or tendons.

bone spur removal foot may develop because of osteoarthritis (OA), a condition where the smooth, tough cartilage covering the ends of your bones breaks down and erodes. The body responds by creating new bone material, called osteophytes, as part of its healing process.

If you have OA, your doctor may order X-rays to see if you have bone spurs. They may also recommend a CT scan or MRI.

Bone spurs can cause nerve pinching or compression (radiculopathy), pain, stiffness, range of motion loss, and weakness radiating from the spine. They can also cause problems in other parts of your body, such as numbness or tingling in the arms and legs and balance problems.


Bone spurs can cause pain, numbness, and weakness if they press on nearby nerves. See your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

The most common source of bone spurs is joint damage from osteoarthritis (OA). The cartilage that covers the ends of joints breaks down, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation.

In response, your body creates new bone material to repair the cartilage and reduce friction between bones during joint movement.

Your doctor will use X-rays, MRI, and CT scan to identify bone spurs.

Medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes can relieve bone spur pain and inflammation. However, if those treatments don’t work, your doctor may recommend cortisone injections or surgery to remove the spur altogether.

Bone spurs can develop anywhere along the spine, but they are most common in the neck and lower back. They can also occur in the ankles, feet, elbows, hips, shoulders, and wrists. They are often caused by aging or injury, such as a motor vehicle accident.


Most bone spurs don’t cause problems unless they rub or press on other bones, muscles, or tendons. When this happens, inflammation can occur, causing pain.

The best way to diagnose bone spurs is by taking a medical history and performing a physical examination. During the exam, your doctor might feel the affected joint and look at the tissue around it.

Bone spurs are often caused by osteoarthritis, which affects joints. When OA occurs, cartilage wears away, and the body to try to repair the damage by forming new bone material. This new bone growth is called osteophyte.


Bone spurs are often the result of osteoarthritis (OA). The cartilage that protects the ends of bones in a joint break down, causing inflammation and rubbing against each other.

As OA progresses, the body seeks to repair the damaged area by adding bone to the end of the joint, creating bony growths called spurs. They can occur in any joint of the body.

A doctor can diagnose bone spurs by asking about your symptoms and performing a medical exam. They may also order X-rays to show the area where the bone spur is located.

Treatment for bone spurs is aimed at reducing inflammation and avoiding re-injury when possible. Over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs can relieve symptoms in some cases, but a doctor may recommend steroid shots to reduce swelling and pain. A doctor may recommend surgery to remove the spur if these methods are ineffective.

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