What Are Bony Spurs?

Bony spurs, medically called Osteophytes, are small, irregular, abnormal growths coming out of  a bone from foci of inflammations.

These commonly occur in joints, where two or more bones meet. There are articular cartilages, ligaments and the structures are subjected to permitted range of movements. These areas are prone to wear and tear due to movements performed there.

With time, or due to over work, these components, making up tho joint capsule start disintegrating. Consequently, inflammatory changes may be seen in the joints space.

The ends of the bones, inside the joint space, also gets exposed to this inflammation.
Foot showing bony spur   It is in response to this inflammation that the bony edges become irregular and sort of grow a bit to give out pointed projections called Bony spurs.

Bony spurs are, basically calcium deposits, secreted by adjacent bones.

Symptoms Bony Spurs May Give

  • You may feel them like a like hard mass above the inflamed area. For example, this may be seen in the foot, where sometimes a raised hard swelling may be seen at the point where your footwear touches the dorsum of the foot.
  • Pain over the inflamed region. Commonly, lower back pains, knee joints pain may be due to it.
  • Limitation of movements
  • There may be pain when you acquire a particular posture. As, some patients complain of pain while walking or lying down, when their legs are straight. They feel relaxed when they sit with legs hanging at 90 degree with the thighs.
  • Pinched nerve symptoms- If any nerve traversing along its way gets pinched by any of these bony spurs, you may feel pain and discomfort throughout its course.

Common Locations Where We See Bony Spurs

  • The lower back region, where these may get formed over the adjacent vertebrae, rubbing roughly over each other, due to degeneration of cushioning cartilages kept between them.
  • Knee joints
  • Hip joint, especially in obese people
  • Foot- This part of the body is made up of many tiny bones, articulating with each other. You may see a bony spur between metatarsals or over the heel bone.
  • Neck is a very common place where bony spurs may be seen. They may give you severe neck pain and dizziness.


First line of treatment aims at reducing inflammation over the affected joint space. Anti inflammatory drugs may be given orally or else injected directly into the joint capsule.

The joint may be immobilized for some time to give it rest. However, to restore mobility in future, long term immobilization is not suggested.

Pain relievers may be given to control pain, specifically in situations have you have a pinched nerve.

Larger bony spurs, giving severe symptoms, may need surgical removal.

Can Bony Spurs Get Dissolved By Themselves?

Well yes. If you detect them early and take immediate action, they may get dissolved on their own, giving you smooth bony surfaces.

What You Have To Do

After you’ve detected that your joint has bony spurs, you need to give it rest.

Avoid over use of the joint, you may even immobilize it for some time in the day to give it rest and a chance to heal up by itself. Inflammatory process would get arrested on its own.

Do not over work an already affected joint. You’ll spoil it further, making the changes irreversible.

Eat healthy. For most cases, losing weight works a great deal.

Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of milk. These ingredients are require repair your joint space.

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