Spurs On The Spine

Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are formed in the joints where the bones meet. The main cause is joint damage, which occurs as a result of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis. The initial treatments for bone spur pain are conservative. However, if medical treatments fail to offer relief, microdiscectomy surgery is recommended for spurs on the spine.

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Treating bone spurs conservatively

Often, bone spurs can go undiagnosed for years. However, if a diagnosis of spurs is made, the doctor will usually recommend non-surgical treatments such as over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. Patients can also reduce pain by resting, engaging in physical therapy (PT), and opting for steroid injections. If symptoms persist after 1 month of treatment, the doctor may consider more aggressive interventions such as microdiscectomy spine surgery.

Moving on to spinal surgery

Microdiscectomy or microdecompression is a minimally invasive spine surgery for spinal bone spurs. The patient will be given general anesthesia and placed on the table in a supine position. The surgeon will then make a small incision and free the nerve by removing small fragments of the disc, bone, and ligament. After removal, the doctor will close up the incision with sutures. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, patients are usually sent home the same day.

Possible complications

The microdiscectomy procedure is generally safe, but there are some possible complications, such as bleeding, infection, and blood clots. There are also chances of damaging the adjacent nerve or having a reaction to anesthetic medications. With a minimally invasive approach, the surgeon is only required to make 1 small incision in the back, reducing the risk of such complications.

The road to recovery

After surgery, the healthcare provider will recommend avoiding lifting and bending and may suggest a back brace to support the spine. Most people can get back to work in about 1 week. The patient will need to follow up with physical therapy (PT) appointments to strengthen the back. Achieving a complete recovery takes about 6 weeks for most patients.

Getting rid of bone spur pain

If non-surgical treatment options do not help relieve bone spur pain, microdiscectomy spine surgery may be recommended. Ask the healthcare provider about the procedure, risks, benefits, and recovery time. After the spine surgery, physical therapy is pivotal to full recovery.

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