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Spinal Bone Spur Information: The Issue and Possible Causes

In general, a bone spur shouldn’t be a source of concern. The growth of a spur is not at all unusual for the human body, particularly as it ages, and in many cases a bone spur proves asymptomatic. However, these spurs can sometimes become problematic if they impinge on important components of the body. For example, bone spurs in the tightly packed column of the spine can place pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord itself, an issue that can cause pain in the neck or back, as well as tingling, numbness or weakness along the affected nerve. With that in mind, you may want to learn more about spinal bone spurs.

What is a bone spur?

To put it simply, a bone spur is one of the body’s defensive mechanisms. Such an enlargement can develop on bones when they have excess pressure or friction placed upon them, and the growth can lend stability in the face of stress. However, when the growth gets too large, it can impinge on nearby tissues. As previously mentioned, bone spur growth in the spine can cause more serious symptoms than bone spur growth elsewhere in the body because the spine is home to key components of the central and peripheral nervous system — the nerve superhighway that serves the entire body.

Why might you develop a bone spur?

Finding the underlying issue that caused the growth of spurs on the spine can be difficult, but it can also prove useful. Sometimes, the root cause of bone spurs is simply the aging process. Over time, the discs between the vertebrae in your spine may degenerate with age, shrinking enough to allow your vertebrae to rub against one another rather than being cushioned by the discs. Osteoarthritis can also arise as the years go by, causing the deterioration of the cartilage that typically allows spinal facet joints to glide across one another with reduced friction. The resulting grinding can often cause the development of a bone spur.

If you have a bone spur that is negatively affecting your spine, and you have pursued conservative treatments to no avail, it might be time to consider surgery. Be certain that you weigh all of your available options, including the minimally invasive surgery procedures performed by Laser Spine Institute’s experienced surgeons. To learn all about our outpatient procedures, contact us today. We’ll provide you with details about our procedures to see if you’re a candidate for outpatient surgery.

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