Bone spurs are parts of bones that jut out of the joints, forming spurs. Often, this is confused with other forms of deformities such as spurs that form on the ligaments or the tendons of the joints which are called enthesophytes. Whereas enthesophytes form on the tendons and ligaments, bone spurs form at the margin of the bones.
Normally, bones are intact and do not have spurs. However, there are cases when ailments damage the joints and bones, such as in arthritis. When this happens, the patient will form osteophytes on the injured site. Also, it is quite possible that this site becomes larger as calcification occurs, causing more pain to the patient. Moreover, bone formation will continue even when the bone is damage so that the part with the spurs can also increase in size.
Often, this problem is seen in older patients as aging causes a lot of changes in the person’s body. Still, there are patients who are young, too. Several factors are considered to the causative agents for bone spurs. Possible causes include diseases like diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis as well as mechanical instability and degeneration.
Symptoms of Bone Spurs
How can one tell if he or she is suffering from bone spurs? Are there any telltale signs or symptoms for the patient to look out for? While most of the people who suffer from bone spurs do not immediately know that they do have these growths in their body except when these are found with the help of X-rays, there are some symptoms that may indicate their presence in the body.
- A patient may be suffering from bone spurs if he or she feels a certain dull pain in the lower back or neck, usually felt more when walking or even when just standing.
- When the cervical spine is the one that is affected by a bone spur, it can be felt with pain that radiates into a person’s shoulders.
- If the lumbar spine is the one that has the bone spur, possible symptom to indicate this is a dull pain that comes from the patient’s thighs or rear end.
- Cervical spine bone spurs are often indicated by constant headaches.
- In severe cases of bone spurs, some of the symptoms that are exhibited include weakness, tingling of certain parts of the body, numbness, pain in the patient’s legs and arms, and the dysfunction of the bladder or bowels.