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What are the symptoms associated with bone spurs on the spine?

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Posted on Wed, 27 May 2015
Question: What symptoms are associated with bone spurs on the spine? How are bone spurs treated? What do they typically look like?
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Symptoms are pain with rotation and bending movements of neck or lower back

Detailed Answer:
Hi T,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. Bone spurs on the spine are associated with degenerative changes taking place in the small vertebrae. They are also called anterior and posterior marginal osteophytes. The symptoms are neck or lower back ache. This increases with movements like rotation of neck or lower back and bending forwards or backwards which cause pressure on nerves and this gets painful. Lifting heavy weights also triggers pain.

2. These appear on X ray like small beaking prominences often seen in the anterior margin of the vertebrae along the superior or inferior end plate.

3. These are usually seen in the neck and lower back regions of the spine. They appear like beaks or claws between two vertebrae. In severe cases claws originating from adjacent vertebrae appear fused and these are known as bridging osteophytes.

4. The bone spurs with associated degenerative disc changes cause pinching of nerve roots and pressure on nerves leading to pain. The bone spurs limit the flexibility of the spine movements and this causes pain and stiffness with painful restriction of movement.

5. Mild to moderate pain in the area can be treated with physiotherapy, medicines including nerve pain relievers and ointments like muscle relaxant and injection shots using steroids. When the pain is severe and not responding to conservative treatment, it might require spine surgery to decompress the nerves.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6719 Questions

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What are the symptoms associated with bone spurs on the spine?

Brief Answer: Symptoms are pain with rotation and bending movements of neck or lower back Detailed Answer: Hi T, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. Bone spurs on the spine are associated with degenerative changes taking place in the small vertebrae. They are also called anterior and posterior marginal osteophytes. The symptoms are neck or lower back ache. This increases with movements like rotation of neck or lower back and bending forwards or backwards which cause pressure on nerves and this gets painful. Lifting heavy weights also triggers pain. 2. These appear on X ray like small beaking prominences often seen in the anterior margin of the vertebrae along the superior or inferior end plate. 3. These are usually seen in the neck and lower back regions of the spine. They appear like beaks or claws between two vertebrae. In severe cases claws originating from adjacent vertebrae appear fused and these are known as bridging osteophytes. 4. The bone spurs with associated degenerative disc changes cause pinching of nerve roots and pressure on nerves leading to pain. The bone spurs limit the flexibility of the spine movements and this causes pain and stiffness with painful restriction of movement. 5. Mild to moderate pain in the area can be treated with physiotherapy, medicines including nerve pain relievers and ointments like muscle relaxant and injection shots using steroids. When the pain is severe and not responding to conservative treatment, it might require spine surgery to decompress the nerves. Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek