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What is Bone Spur?

Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, are bony structures that form on the spine over time, commonly caused by degeneration and aging.

Bone spurs form when discs or cartilage tissue that cushion bones are injured, damaged or worn down. When bones touch, or when ligaments holding the spine together thicken and harden to support the spine, it can lead to significant pain and a diminished range of motion. A bone spur can occur in any area of the spine, including the cervical spine in the neck region, as well as the lumbar spine in the lower back. Sometimes, a bone spur and a bulging disc occur at the same time. This is a condition known as disc osteophyte complex.

Symptoms of Bone Spur

    Common symptoms of Bone Spur include:
  • In the lumbar spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet
  • In the cervical spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and sometimes in the head
  • In the thoracic spine (less common): pain in the upper back, radiating through the stomach or chest, which patients often confuse for cardiovascular problems

Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your bone spurs, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.

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Causes of Bone Spur

    Additional common Bone Spur causes include:
  • Arthritis, which can lead to joint deterioration
  • Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
  • Direct physical injury such as a car accident or fall
  • Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents

In some cases, bone spurs form as part of the normal aging process and do not cause any significant health problems. Bone spur treatments are as varied as their causes. Your North American Spine physician will perform a thorough work-up and discuss the range of treatment options available to you.

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Marsha J.

Condition: Bulging Disc

Procedure: IntelliSpineSM (Lumbar)

Hometown: Tyler, TX

“The procedure was 100% successful.”

“I was blown away by the results. A 180 degree change. Pain was gone and only mild ache on day of surgery. No longer required pain medications and able to sit without pain for the first time in 4 months. I am thrilled and believe the procedure was 100% successful to accomplish what was expected.”

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

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