What is a Bone Spur?
A Bone Spur is a bony growth formed on any normal bone. You may sense something sharp when you think of a “spur,” however, a bone spur is simply just extra bone. It is usually smooth and it can cause tremendous pain if it presses, or rubs on other bones, or soft tissues such as: ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body. Common places for bone spurs include: spine, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and more commonly the feet.
Symptoms of a Bone Spur
Many people have Bone Spurs without ever knowing it, because most bone spurs cause no symptoms until the symptoms become painful. If Bone Spurs start pressing on other bones or tissues, or are causing a muscle or tendon to rub, they can break that tissue down and over time, cause swelling, pain, and tearing. Bone Spurs in the foot can also cause corns and calluses when tissue builds up to provide added padding over the bone spur.
A Bone Spur is usually visible on an X-ray, however, since most bone spurs do not cause problems, it is not typical to take an X-ray to determine if you have a bone spur. If you have an X-ray to evaluate one of the problems associated with bone spurs, such as arthritis, a bone spur will be visible on the X-ray.
Treatments for a Bone Spur include: rest, ice, stretching, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Changing footwear, adding padding, or a shoe insert such as a heel cup or orthotic is helpful. If the bone spur continues to cause symptoms, a corticosteroid injection at the painful area to decrease pain and inflammation of the soft tissues next to the bone spur is another treatment option.
Additionally, a Bone Spur can be surgically removed as part of a surgery to repair or replace a joint when osteoarthritis has caused considerable damage and deformity.