Bone spur treatments



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




There are three types of bone spurs. The first is the kind seen in a joint affected by osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease.)

Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joints to wear down. Eventually, bone rubs on bone — resulting in pain.

The body tries to repair this damage. But the repairs result in growth of new bone along the sides of the existing bone (bone spurs). These "spurs" are called osteophytes. They are common features of the osteoarthritic shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery. Removal of osteophytes also appears to be helpful during the course of a stem cell procedure.

The second type of bone spur occurs when the attachment of ligaments or tendons to bone become calcified. Thus can occur on the bottom of the heel, around the Achilles tendon, and in the coroacoacromial ligament of the shoulder.

The third type of spur occurs when trauma causes damage to the bone. As the body tries to heal this damage, new bone growth can develop causing a bone spur in that location.

Treatment for bone spurs consists of a few common principles.

Pain associated from a bone spur is commonly caused by irritation of the surrounding tissue. Removal of the spurs may relieve pain that arises from irritation.

Anti-inflammatory medications are often given to help control the pain and the inflammation caused by the bone spur.

Muscle relaxants are sometimes given when the irritation causes muscle tension or spasms.

Sometimes cortisone injections are given in the area of the bone spur to control the pain and inflammation.

Removal of bone spurs using ultrasound-guided needle tenotomy accompanied by injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may not only be pain relieving but may also prevent the need for more involved surgery.

Open surgery for bone spurs is rarely necessary.




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