Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are bony projections that form along bone edges and often occur near joints as a result of joint damage or arthritis. They can be found in the feet, hands, knees, and spine. The main cause of bone spur is the joint damage associated with osteoarthritis. A healthy lifestyle may delay the onset of symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Most bone spurs do not cause symptoms and can go undetected for years and may not require treatment. However, if necessary, treatment option may include medications, physical therapy, or surgery, and will depend on the location of the spurs and their impact on overall health.
Bone spurs are often asymptomatic and may go unnoticed until discovered on an X-ray for another reason. However, bone spurs can occasionally result in joint pain and a reduction in range of motion.
Symptoms of bone spurs vary based on their location and may include:
- Knee. Leg extension and flexion can be painful if you have bone spurs in your knee.
- Spine.Bone spur can narrow the spinal canal and pinch nerve, leading to weakness or numbness in arms or legs.
- Hip. Bone spurs can cause discomfort in the hip joint, which may be felt as pain in the knee. Bone spurs may restrict the range of motion in your hip joint depending on the location of the spurs.
If you s discomfort or swelling in one or more joints, or have difficulty moving a joint, it is recommended to schedule a visit with a doctor.
Osteoarthritis is the most frequent cause of joint damage leading to the formation of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of cartilage, the firm and flexible tissue that cushions bone and facilitates joint movement. Osteoarthritis can occur as a result of aging or from damage, such as from a sports injury. The body tries to compensate for the loss of cartilage by producing new bone, resulting in the formation of bone spurs.
People of any age can develop bone spurs, but those over 60 years old are most susceptible. People with arthritis have a higher risk of developing bone spurs.