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Bone spurs are bony projections that develop along bone edges. Bone spurs (osteophytes) often form where bones meet each other — in your joints. They can also form on the bones of your spine.
The main cause of bone spurs is the joint damage associated with osteoarthritis. Most bone spurs cause no symptoms and can go undetected for years. They might not require treatment. If treatment is needed, it depends on where spurs are located and how they affect your health.
Most bone spurs cause no signs or symptoms. You might not realize you have bone spurs until an X-ray for another condition reveals the growths. In some cases, though, bone spurs can cause pain and loss of motion in your joints.
Specific symptoms depend on where the bone spurs are. Examples include:
During the physical exam, your doctor might feel around your joint to pinpoint your pain. Your doctor might also order X-rays or other imaging tests to view your joints and bones.
If your bone spurs cause pain, your health care provider might recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others).
This article is written by Mayo Clinic staff. Find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.
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