A bone spur, or osteophyte, is an abnormal growth of bone that is the body’s natural response to damage or friction. Bone spurs can occur throughout the body, with the spine being a common location due to the amount of weight it supports combined with the intricate moving parts that make up this part of the body. Conditions like spinal osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease lead to increased bone-on-bone contact and friction that leads to the development of bone spurs throughout the spine, including the cervical region that runs through the neck.
Although a bone spur in the neck is not necessarily painful by itself, it has the potential to cause debilitating symptoms as a result of nerve compression. By learning more about how these symptoms develop and what the treatment options are, you can be a more informed patient and give yourself a better chance of finding relief if this condition is affecting your life.
Specific symptoms of a bone spur in the neck
A spinal bone spur may not cause any symptoms, or it may just create stiffness and minor aches. However, it is also possible for a bone spur in the neck to cause narrowing, or stenosis, in the central spinal canal or one of the nerve root exits. Symptoms of nerve compression in the cervical spine include:
- Neck pain
- Shooting pain into the shoulders and arms
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers
- Muscle spasms and cramping in the neck
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have not yet received a diagnosis, consult with your doctor for an evaluation and treatment plan.
Treatment for a cervical bone spur
A bone spur in the neck that is causing painful symptoms can often be treated with a course of conservative options including massage, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and improved posture. You may be asked to consider surgery if symptoms do not improve after thoroughly exhausting these and other treatments.
Before undergoing a highly invasive traditional open neck procedure, reach out to the caring and dedicated team at USA Spine Care. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed on an outpatient basis by our team of board-certified surgeons,+ offering our patients a streamlined experience.
Ask for your no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to help you find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.