Bone Spurs

Friday, December 30, 2011

Most people think of something sharp when they think of a spur. But a bone spur is not sharp; its just extra bone but it can be very painful. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about bone spurs in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A bone spur, or osteophyte, is a bony growth formed on normal bone. A bone spur generally forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time. Common places for bone spurs include the spine, shoulders, hands, hips, knees and feet.

Some bone spurs form as part of the aging process. As we age, the slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of the bones breaks down and eventually wears away. This is especially common in the joints of the spine and feet.

Most bone spurs cause no symptoms. However, if they are pressing on other bones, muscles or tendons, they can break that tissue down over time, causing swelling, pain and tearing.

Bone spurs do not require treatment unless they are causing pain or damaging other tissues. Treatment directed at symptoms could include rest, ice, stretching and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, bone spurs may be surgically removed.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.