What a Spinal Bone Spur Diagnosis Means For You
After receiving a spinal bone spur diagnosis, you may have a series of questions about the condition. What is a bone spur? How serious is the condition? How do I treat it? Do I need surgery? Your doctor should be there to explain to you that spinal bone spurs - small, smooth, bony growths on one or more vertebrae - are relatively normal and experienced by millions of people throughout the course of their lives. Surgery will probably not even enter the initial conversation with your doctor, but an appropriate noninvasive treatment plan likely will.
Treatment after the Diagnosis
Upon giving you the bone spur diagnosis, your doctor will formulate a treatment plan to help put you on the road to alleviating your symptoms. In most cases, bone spurs do not regress on their own, and, if necessary, need to be surgically removed. However, that is not to say that nonsurgical treatments cannot reduce the pain, numbness, tingling, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness that can be caused by a bone spur that compresses a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord. Thus, the conservative, noninvasive treatment methods that your doctor may recommend and prescribe usually are not designed to treat or remove the bone spur itself. Instead, they seek to minimize the degree to which symptoms are experienced.
Is Surgery Necessary After a Bone Spur Diagnosis?
Generally speaking, surgery is not required to treat the effects a bone spur may have on a patient. However, surgery for a spinal bone spur is a very common treatment that has proven quite effective at opening up space within the spinal column and releasing nerve tissue that has been compressed by bone spur growth. Regardless, nonsurgical treatment efforts are typically successful in reducing bone spur symptoms, making surgery unnecessary. Relief from the symptoms associated with a bone spur and nerve compression may take a few weeks or months of treatment to take effect, but there are some instances in which the nonsurgical treatments may do little or nothing to provide relief. When this is the case, it is generally advisable to visit your doctor - and perhaps one or two other physicians - to obtain additional medical opinions on your condition and to explore other treatment possibilities.