Bone Spurs

Bone Spurs
What is a Bone Spur?
Treatment Options
Recovery time
Level of Activity after Treatment

What is a Bone Spur?

Bone spurs are simply bony outgrowths. They can take on different shapes. In the spine, bone spurs can pose particular problems. They are mostly found in the neck and the lower back. They are of concern when the bony outgrowth compromises nerve or even the spinal cord. Bone spurs, unlike the normal surface of joints and vertebrae, are uneven and resemble icicles hanging from the roof of the canal and passage way of the nerves and the spinal cord. The sharp and uneven surface of the bone spurs can lead to narrowing of these important passageways.

Symptoms of a Bone Spur: Bone spurs can lead to narrowing of the exit site of the nerve root, pinching the nerve root and cause shooting pain in the arm and leg. Later on, and depending on the extent of the pressure on the nerve, individual patient can experience muscle weakness. Pain can change into tingling and burning sensation. At times “looking-up” can cause a pinching sensation in the back of the neck and shooting pain in the shoulder and arm. In the lower back, bone spurs cause leg pain, localized back pain and muscle spasm. Most patient experience progressive worsening neck and/or back pain. Initially, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories may bring on relief. Changing work ergonomics, neck exercises and attention to better posture can help maintain and prolong the pain-free interval. In other cases pain and discomfort tends to return which may interfere with individual’s day-to-day function and work and even sleep. Pain can travel to the side of the neck, into the shoulder, arm and fingers. It will be hard to find a comfortable position to sleep.

Causes of a Bone Spur: Bone spurs can be caused by traumatic events, for example as a consequence of healed fracture. Other times they form in reaction to stress put on the joint, wear and tear and at times because of arthritis. The normal contour of the passage ways of the nerve and spinal canal is altered. Bone spurs are typically bony structures and tend not to resolve spontaneously.

Diagnosis of a Bone Spur: Initial plain X-rays can demonstrate the foraminal (nerve passage way) narrowing. Diagnosis of the narrowing of the spinal canal can be better evaluated using cross-sectional imaging techniques like Computed Tomography (CAT scan). Newer 3-dimensional imaging techniques are also available to show the bone spur in great detail. Dr. Mohamed Mohi Eldin uses 3-dimensional imaging of the spine. They are a valuable tool in pre-operative planning and designing accurate surgical corridors that allow Dr. Mohamed Mohi Eldin to perform the surgery through much smaller incisions than the traditional surgery. This leads to less scarring, blood loss, and a more rapid recovery.

Treatment Options

After an appropriate diagnosis the spine specialist is called. Dr. Mohamed Mohi Eldin’s treatment goal is to relive pain and restore function. After a careful and detail evaluation, Dr. Mohamed Mohi Eldin will discuss a personalized treatment plan based on the individual patient’s symptoms and neurological findings. The least invasive options are entertained first. Conservative care, including physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants and postural training are discussed. In case of failure of these measures, pain management options, such as injections may be tried. In the event of significant nerve or spinal canal compromise, surgical decompression will be discussed.

Recovery time

For patients that require surgical decompression, both neck and back surgeries can be done through small incisions. The surgery is done through a microscope with minimal blood loss and scarring. Most patients are able to go home the same day. Patients are encouraged to walk but avoid strenuous exercises, and bending, lifting and twisting for two weeks.

Level of Activity after Treatment

All patients are encouraged to walk. Generally patients experience significant relief of their symptoms and are able to enjoy life without constant pain. Dr. Mohamed Mohi Eldin’s protocols are discussed with individual patient to ensure a rapid and pain free recovery. Patients are instructed to avoid heavy lifting, bending, and twisting for the first two weeks. Physical therapy generally begins by the third post-operative week.

Why Select Dr. Mohamed Mohi Eldin?

Call Us:
(002-02) 33022907

(002) 01223403690

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