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Bone Spurs

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, also called osteophytes are bony projections that develop along the edges of the bones. A bone spur is usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear as well as pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as tendons, nerves or ligaments in the body. Bone spurs are commonly found in the spine, shoulders, hands, hips, feet and knees.

The most common cause of bone spurs is wear and tear arthritis. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage cushioning at the ends of the bones, then the body attempts to repair the loss by creating bone spurs near the damaged area. The extra bone may thus help in increasing the amount of surface area for load bearing. One may not even realise that he or she has a bone spur until an X-ray for another condition reveals the growth. The symptoms usually depend on where the bone spurs are located, and is often associated with pain, numbness and tenderness.

Doctors usually recommend over the counter pain relievers if the bone spurs are causing pain and discomfort. If the bone spurs limit one's motion or press on the nerves, surgical removal may be required.

Contact your doctor if you have swelling, pain or difficulty moving a joint! An early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent joint damage.