What are Osteophytes?
Osteophytes or bone spurs are an indicator of disc degeneration which could be the cause of your pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in your back and limbs
Bone spurs or osteophytes are quit common on patients over the age of 60. Commonly misinterpreted as the source of a patients pain, osteophytes are often an indication of another problem. Degeneration of the spine such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylosis or arthritis can all cause bone spurs over time by thickening ligaments that calcify.
Osteophytes are easily visible through imaging such as a MRI or x-ray. Patients who suffer from bone spurs generally feel pain in the neck or lower back, radiating pain in the nearest limb to the affected vertebrae, numbness, tingling, weakness and pain in arms and legs. Most patients complain about pain and stiffness in the mornings and evening or during excess movement such as walking for long periods of time.
Patients who suffer from osteophytes are first prescribed non surgical treatments. These treatments include medication, rest, physical therapy or injections. For patients who do not respond to these, surgery such as a laminectomy can be a successful solution. Surgery for bone spurs has a high success rate and can be performed as a minimally invasive outpatient procedure with quick recovery time and less risks than traditional surgery.
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