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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is surgery recommended for osteophytes?

Dear Doctor, My X - Ray shows that I have Osteophyte, I will be going for my MRI to see how serious its going to be. I have this pain on my lower back for a long time. Do you recommend surgery? what is the side effects if the surgery doesn t turn out well? will I be able to walk again? Thank you Amy Loh
Fri, 21 Feb 2014
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

Presence of osteophytes in the vertebral column indicates degenerative changes (wear & tear), which usually are the result of ageing.

Generally, no surgery will be offered to the patients presenting with only back pain (due to spondylotic changes), unless it is associated with leg pain (indicating compression of the nerve root by the osteophytes).

Majority of the patients respond well to conservative method of management in the form of physiotherapy involving strengthening of lumbar spinal muscles. Surgical management is always the last option.

I suggest you to consult a Neurosurgeon/Spine surgeon for further evaluation and definitive management.

Hope this information is helpful. Good day
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Is surgery recommended for osteophytes?

Hi, thanks for writing to HCM. Presence of osteophytes in the vertebral column indicates degenerative changes (wear & tear), which usually are the result of ageing. Generally, no surgery will be offered to the patients presenting with only back pain (due to spondylotic changes), unless it is associated with leg pain (indicating compression of the nerve root by the osteophytes). Majority of the patients respond well to conservative method of management in the form of physiotherapy involving strengthening of lumbar spinal muscles. Surgical management is always the last option. I suggest you to consult a Neurosurgeon/Spine surgeon for further evaluation and definitive management. Hope this information is helpful. Good day