Do Bone Spurs Grow?

About Bone Spurs:

Bone spurs which are medically termed as osteophytes are small bony projections which grow on the bones.1 These projections can grow on any bone in the body, but is normally seen in the legs, arms, heel, and the spine. Bone Spurs are especially found in joints affected with osteoarthritis which is a condition in which the joints become extremely stiff and painful.

Bone spurs in majority of the cases remain asymptomatic and are not a cause of concern but in some cases they tend to become painful especially when they start rubbing on the adjoining structures, especially in the spine. When the bone spurs start rubbing on the adjacent bones they tend to cause severe pain and restricted motion. A bone spur in the spine may also result in nerve impingement which may result in neurological symptoms.

While an individual should not be concerned much about bone spurs, there is one question that is always on the mind of patients who have bones spurs and that is do bone spurs grow or spread. This article gives a brief overview of whether bone spurs really spread or grow or not.

Do Bone Spurs Grow?

Do Bone Spurs Grow?

The answer to this question is yes, bone spurs do grow larger and spread to the adjoining areas. In fact, the very reason why bone spurs become symptomatic is because of their growth as a result of which they come in contact with the adjoining structures and start rubbing on them resulting in pain, discomfort, and other symptoms consistent with a symptomatic bone spur.

In cases of bone spurs of the spine, the growth of the bone spurs may result in nerve impingement. This nerve impingement is what that causes numbness, tingling, and other neurological symptoms.

In some cases, a bone spur in the spine can spread to such an extent so as to compress the spine itself. This may lead to extremely painful condition and may make it difficult for an individual to sit, stand, walk, or even carry out simple activities of daily living without pain or discomfort.

In conclusion, the answer to the question whether bone spurs grow is, yes, bone spurs do grow and spread. The rate at which bone spurs grow may not be that rapid but the growth of bone spur is the primary reason for bones spurs to become symptomatic and cause pain and discomfort. The growth of the bone spur results in impingement of the adjoining tissues and other structures resulting in pain and restricted motion joint.

In case of bone spurs in the spine, a growth of such bone spurs tend to result in impingement of nerve roots or in some cases the spine itself which may result in neurological symptoms of numbness and tingling radiating down to the lower extremities. Growth of bone spurs in the spine can also make it difficult for the individual to carry out activities of daily living and hence in such cases surgical removal of the bone spur becomes a necessity.


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