Man holding his knee in pain

How Did I Get a Bone Spur? What Can Be Done About It?

Suffering from unexplained pain or dysfunction? Diagnosed with a bone spur? The excellent doctors at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine are ready to help you recover using only nonsurgical techniques. Because we are a holistic practice, we are committed to employing a variety of both traditional and complementary treatment methods to make you well.

If you recently had a bone spur, you may immediately picture a cowboy boot complete with a pointed spur. Though that image may sync with the type of pain you’ve been experiencing, bone spurs themselves are usually smooth. Ironically, if a bone spur puts pressure on a nerve, you may indeed feel the pain that seems to have originated from a hard poke with a sharp object.

Why Would My Body Manufacture This Small Instrument of Torture?

Your body actually has good intentions when it manufactures a bone spur (also known as an osteophyte). It typically creates a bone spur when osteoarthritis has caused the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones to break down and attempts to repair the loss. In other words, a bone spur is an over-correction of the damaged area that can and often does, cause new problems.

Other Reasons Bone Spurs Develop

Although in most cases bone spurs occur at joints negatively impacted by osteoarthritis, they may also grow as a result of other, rarer forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Risk factors for bone spurs include being over 60 years of age, having osteoarthritis or another form of arthritis, or having a family history of such disease. 

Where Bone Spurs Commonly Occur

While bone spurs can occur anywhere in the body, they are most common in the following areas:

  • Knee where bone spurs make it painful to extend and bend the leg
  • Spine where bone spurs narrow the space that encloses your spinal cord, resulting in stenosis that may cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the arms or legs
  • Hip where bone spurs may make it difficult and painful to move the hip though the patient may feel pain in the knee as well
  • Heel where bone spurs cause heel and foot pain

Other locations affected by bone spurs include the neck, shoulders, and elbows.

When Bone Spurs Cause Troubling Symptoms

Although many people aren’t aware that they have bone spurs, in some cases, bone spurs can result in pain, stiffness, numbness, weakness, muscle spasms, diminished range of motion, and/or radiating pain. This happens when the bone spurs put pressure on adjacent nerves or rub against other bones or tissues.  Bone spurs may also be the underlying cause of tendonitis or tendon tears, such as rotator cuff injuries

It is when patients experience such disturbing symptoms that they come to consult with us. Fortunately, our doctors are fine diagnosticians with a broad range of treatments to offer patients with bone spurs. The sooner you make an appointment with one of our doctors, the sooner we can relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Diagnosing Bone Spurs

To confirm the presence of bone spurs, we will have to perform one or more of the following imaging tests — X-rays, CT or MRI scan, ultrasound — and possibly electromyography (EMG) to determine the extent of the nerve injury and to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. 

How We Treat Bone Spurs at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine

Because we are goal-oriented and open-minded, we often use a number of therapeutic options to treat bone spurs in order to get optimal results, including: 

  • Injections of a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic to the affected area 
  • Individualized physical therapy and manipulation of joints 
  • PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy to accelerate healing
  • PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy) to reduce inflammation and increase circulation
  • Acupuncture reduces inflammation and promotes healing

Contact Our Experienced Bone Spur Doctors Today to Get Rapid Relief

Once you get in touch with our capable, caring physicians, you will wonder why you didn’t call sooner. We are dedicated to pinpointing the cause of your pain and resolving your issues. Contact us now to rediscover how comfortable and energetic you can feel.