What Are Bone Spurs?

What are bone spurs?  When it comes to the spine, bone spurs (osteophytes) are signs of spinal disc or ligament damage, usually a slowly acquired variety that is the result of spinal arthritis. The body lays down calcium (bone) in an attempt to slow the damage and to stabilize weakened areas.  Generally, spurs are more rounded than jagged.  They do not actually produce pain but when they reach a certain size they begin to push against other structures.

In this office, that other structure is often a spinal nerve. It’s most often referred to as a pinched nerve. This term isn’t exactly correct, spurs can gently touch a spinal nerve and create a variety of unfavorable and painful conditions. We see it in this office every day.