Bone spur knee

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Bone spurs develop in joints affected by osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease.)These spurs are called osteophytes.

The knee consists of the articulation of three bones: the femur (upper leg bone), the tibia (lower leg bone), and the patella (knee cap).

Like other joints the knee is stabilized by a number of muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Because the articulating surfaces are covered by a thin layer of hyaline cartilage, the knee is susceptible to the development of osteoarthritis.

This also means that bone spurs will develop. As cartilage is worn away, the joint senses that the articulating surface area is decreasing. In order to compensate, osteophytes (bone spurs) begin to grow out from the edge of the joint in order to provide more joint surface for the joints to interact and articulate. These bone spurs rarely cause symptoms by themselves although they are associated with localized inflammation and irritation of nearby tendons and ligaments and the joint capsule.

Bone spurs may develop at any site in the knee where there is hyaline cartilage. The presence of spurs usually signifies that the patient will have symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee.

During a stem cell procedure for osteoarthritis, removal of these osteophytes appears to be helpful for symptom relief.

On occasion, spurs may develop in areas that cause irritation of tendons. This condition is termed "enthesopathy."

When this situation occurs, steroid injection may work but also has the potential for weakening the tendon.

However, a newer treatment for tendonitis may be more effective... and safer. Percutaneous needle tenotomy is a technique where a small gauge needle is introduced using local anesthetic and ultrasound guidance. The needle is used to poke several small holes in the tendon. This procedure is called "tenotomy." Tenotomy induces an acute inflammatory response. Then, platelet rich plasma, obtained from a sample of the patient's whole blood is injected into the area where tenotomy has been performed. Platelets are cells that contain multiple healing and growth factors. The result? Normal good quality tendon tissue is stimulated to grow with natural healing.

For more information about tendonitis, visit our sister site:

Tendonitis TendonitisandPRP provides reliable, accurate, and useful information on tendonitis treatment written by a board-certified rheumatologist. Learn more about how to get tendonitis relief using the most up-to-date methods.

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