What Are Bone Spurs?

Hey, it’s Doctor DeCubellis. I wanted to talk today about BONE SPURS, what they are and what the dangers of bone spurs are. So first let’s talk about how bone spurs are formed and bone spurs are what are commonly called OSTEOARTHRITIS.

I’ll show you on this model here. We’ve got a model of the spine. A bone spurs when we have abnormal bone growth around one of the vertebra. So if we look at this top vertebrae here, see how right here. It’s nice and smooth and flat. That’s what we want to see. But when we have a bone spur, we start to get a point that forms most of the time, it goes this way and eventually it’ll start growing down.

Now, the reason that happens is because this part of the bone is being put under abnormal pressure. So what your body does is it says, listen, we shouldn’t have this abnormal pressure. What I’m going to do is I’m going to increase the surface area to try to handle this.  When we have abnormal pressure over bone, we get increased bone growth that way your body is trying to handle this.

The problem is, over time if it’s not corrected, the body says, you know what we’ve just got so abnormal motion I don’t want to risk a spinal cord injury. So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to fuse these vertebrae together. Now that’s permanent. You have lost all function of that area and it creates more stress on the vertebra above and below as well. So that’s what bone spurs are.

Now the good news about bone spurs is that if you take the pressure away, the abnormal pressure over that bone stops growing. If you take the reason for it being there away, then it’s not going to keep growing.

The other thing is that they don’t happen overnight. They usually take years to develop. So that’s why it’s so important to make sure you get regular checkups because if you are found to have one of these things, you can start implementing some different techniques or getting some treatment done to make sure it doesn’t get any worse. And we get to where it’s fused because once it’s there, you can’t get rid of it.

I hope that makes a little more sense as to what a bone spur is and how severe they are, but also what they ultimately lead toward.