What are bone spurs, and where are they located?
Bone spurs are bony projections, also called osteophytes, that can develop anywhere one of your bones meets another – your joints. They’re mainly caused by osteoarthritis. Bone spurs can go unnoticed for years, often only appearing on X-rays related to other conditions. Most do not cause pain, and frequently – depending upon how they affect your health – require no treatment.
A bone spur’s location can also change its impact on your body.
Knee: These bone spurs make extending and bending your leg painful, and they interfere with the bones and tendons that control your knee.
Spine: Vertebral bone spurs can narrow the space around your spinal cord, pinching the cord or its nerve roots. This can lead to weakness or loss of feeling in your arms or legs.
Hip: Bone spurs in your hip make moving painful, and the discomfort can extend down to your knee. They can also potentially reduce your hip joint’s range of motion.
Shoulder: Bone spurs that rub on your rotator cuff – the group of muscles and tendons that mainly control your shoulder movements – can cause swelling and small tears in your rotator cuff.
Fingers: Although mostly aesthetic, bone spurs on your fingers can make your joints appear bumpy.