If you’ve been diagnosed with a bone spur in your neck or back, you may be wondering what you can expect as time goes on. Perhaps you’re already experiencing pain or other debilitating symptoms because the bone spur is putting pressure on a nerve. This is usually the reason that a bone spur, also known as an osteophyte, becomes noticeable. Bone spurs are smooth bony deposits that can form on your spinal vertebrae or joints, often as a result of a degenerating spinal disc that fails to properly cushion the bony components of your spine. In and of themselves, bone spurs aren’t usually painful. When they press on a spinal nerve, however, they can cause the nerve to falsely signal pain, tingling or numbness that may be felt in the neck or back or another part of the body that’s along the nerve pathway.
There are surgical procedures — both traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive techniques — that seek to alleviate the debilitating symptoms that sometimes occur with a bone spur in the spine. However, for many patients diagnosed with this condition, doctors recommend trying nonsurgical treatments first. Many people can find relief from pain or other symptoms caused by a bone spur by taking anti-inflammatory medication, applying hot and cold compresses, incorporating stretching exercises into their routine and trying other conservative treatments. If those methods don’t bring relief, some people will pursue acupuncture, chiropractic treatment and other alternative approaches as treatment for their bone spur symptoms.
If you have diligently pursued conservative treatments for several weeks or months without experiencing symptom relief, your thoughts may turn to bone spur surgery. Before you pursue surgery, however, you’ll want to talk these six things over with your doctor:
- What are the pros and cons of surgery for my specific bone spur condition?
- What risks and outcomes are associated with bone spur surgery?
- How long will I have to remain in the hospital after the operation?
- How much recovery time will be required, and what restrictions on my activities will be involved?
- Will I be able to return to work or resume important daily activities and, if so, at what point?
- Do I have options for surgery that can reduce the scarring, risk of complications and required recovery time?
If you’re considering bone spur surgery, you may be interested in the minimally invasive outpatient surgery available at USA Spine Care. Our procedures provide many advantages versus open spine surgery, including a lower risk of complication and shorter recovery times. We can help you find out whether you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery at USA Spine Care by providing an MRI review at no cost to you. Contact us today to learn more.