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Bone spurs can be precisely diagnosed and treated by Laser Spine Institute’s experienced Tampa-area medical team

For patients who are experiencing pain or symptoms associated with this condition, Laser Spine Institute understand the devastating effect it can have on your daily activities. The first step in finding relief is to understand the condition, symptoms and treatment options available. Though the name may seem to imply otherwise, bone spurs are simply smooth extensions of the natural bone. Bone spurs develop naturally as the bone attempts to respond to added pressure or the shifting of other elements with the spinal column. Though this extension of the natural bone is not symptomatic on its own, when these growths begin to place pressure on or compress surrounding elements, immense pain and chronic symptoms may arise.

Causes of a bone spur

Bone spurs occur as part of the body’s natural response to the friction that results from bone-to-bone contact. The biggest cause of this contact is aging, because the cartilage that lines the spine’s facet joints tends to wear down with age. Additionally, conditions such as spinal osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, as well as traumatic injury, can also cause the spine’s joints to degenerate at a faster rate, sometimes leading to the development of bone spurs.

How physicians diagnose a bone spur

The only sure way to confirm whether or not you are suffering from a bone spur is to schedule an appointment with your physician. He or she will begin by asking you to describe your symptoms and medical history, as well as conducting a physical examination of your spine. To confirm your bone spur diagnosis, you will likely need to get an MRI, CT scan or X-ray, any of which will provide a clear view of your spine and any abnormalities that may be present.

Bone spur symptoms often seen by Laser Spine Institute physicians

Some of the most common symptoms associated with bone spurs include:

  • Radiating pain
  • Pain in one area of the neck or back
  • Weakness
  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Inability to walk or stand for long periods of time
  • Trouble finding a comfortable position to sit or sleep

Conservative and alternative bone spur treatments

Individuals with a bone spur are most often prescribed a regimen of conservative treatment to manage their symptoms. Conservative methods of treatment for a bone spur may consist of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, hot and cold compresses, stretching and low-impact exercise, as well as an initial period of rest.
Additionally, some patients choose to explore alternative methods of treatment. Though they are not widely accepted throughout the medical community, these methods — which may include chiropractic manipulation, massage, acupuncture and yoga — have all been reported successful in relieving the symptoms caused by a bone spur. You should always ask your doctor before beginning any new treatments.

Bone spur surgery provided at Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa center

If none of the nonsurgical treatments are successful in bringing you relief from your chronic pain and symptoms, surgery may be the best option for you. Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa center offers minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures used to treat bone spurs. These include:

  • Foraminotomy. During this procedure, the surgeon is able to widen the exit of the foramen by removing any bone spurs or other spinal elements, in order to allow the nerves to freely exit the spinal canal.
  • Laminotomy. This procedure is performed in order to relieve the pressure that is being placed on the spinal cord by the bone spurs or other spinal elements.

For more information regarding minimally invasive treatments for your bone spurs at Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa center, contact us today. We offer a no-cost MRI review to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures*