Bone spurs also called osteophyte is a bone growth that can occur on the edges of a bone. It can grow in any bones, but commonly found in joints where two bones meet. It can also occur in areas where muscles, ligaments, and tendons attach to the bone.
The most commonly affected parts of the body are the neck, or cervical spine, the lower back or lumbar spine, shoulders, hip, knee, and heel. Additional areas such the hands, wrist and the feet are also fairly common.
A bone spur can occur in areas where there is constant stress, friction or rubbing of a bone for a long period of time. It usually occurs when there is tearing of the cartilage at the joints, called osteoarthritis or when the tendons are inflamed called tendinitis. In a healthy musculoskeletal system, there is a thin layer of cartilage on the edges of bones. It will serve as a cushion especially in areas where bones meet bones such as joints. When there is osteoarthritis, the bones would directly rub each other. This will create a stress or friction. The bone would respond to this stress, by forming a new bone, the bone spur in an attempt to protect itself or to stabilize the bones.
Another factor that would contribute to bone spurs is the condition called plantar fasciitis or the inflammation of the fascia or connective tissue found at the bottom of the foot. Ankylosing spondylitis and Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis or DISH are inflammatory disorders that affect bone ligaments. When this happens, a bone spur can develop in the spine.
Several risk factors are also known to increase the change of developing a bone spur. A trauma to the joint such as accidents or there is an overuse of a joint or tendon, can increase the bone spur occurrence later in life. Genetics also plays a role in bone spur occurrence.
Bone spur symptoms can vary from one person to other. It will also depend on the location of the bone spur. Symptoms include:
- Pain. When an affected individual moves and there is rubbing of bones, it can affect nearby tissues causing pain. This is common in the shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet.
- Wear and tear of healthy tendons. If a bone spur starts to rub with the tendons, it can cause pain
- Radiculopathy or when spinal nerves are pinched or pressed. This condition will cause pain, tingling, weakness or numbness in the arms and legs.
- Myelopathy is the term used when the spinal cord is compressed because of a bone spur. This can lead to problems with balance, weakness, and pain.
If you think you are suffering from Bone Spurs you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Bone Spurs as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).