Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are lumps or protrusions of bone that grow along the edges of bones or in the joints. They may also grow along the vertebrae. The most common cause of bone spurs is joint damage from osteoarthritis. Although there are some common areas where bone spurs occur, they can form on any bone or joint in the body. The growths frequently cause no symptoms, but if they do they can cause pain and affect health in a variety of ways.
Bone spurs often cause no symptoms at all. People may not realize they have bone spurs until a doctor sees them on a routine x-ray. However, some people do experience pain and restricted movement in their joints as a result of the growths. The location of the spur is a key factor in determining possible symptoms. For example, bone spurs in the hips and knees can make movement of the joint difficult. Bone spurs along the spine can encroach on the spinal cord and cause numbness or tingling in the limbs.
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