Bone spur

Synonyms: Osteophyte

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Orthopedics


Clinical Definition

Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are outgrowths of bone that are typically found on the bones of joints, such as the ankle or vertebrae. Bone spurs can be indicative of a condition such as arthritis, and may also contribute to painful symptoms on their own.Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are outgrowths of bone that are typically found on the bones of joints, such as the ankle or vertebrae. Bone spurs can be indicative of a condition such as arthritis, and may also contribute to painful symptoms on their own.

 


In Our Own Words

When an outgrowth of bone develops that doesn’t follow the normal contours and lines of the normal bone, it’s referred to as a bone spur or an osteophyte. Although spurs can occur anywhere, they are typically found in joints that are stressed by weight or are affected by arthritis or chronic inflammation. 

Relevant Conditions
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
Common Types
  • Spinal
  • Heel
  • Rotator cuff
Side Effects
  • Pain
  • Decreased range of motion
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sources
  • Harvard Medical School. "Medical Dictionary of Health Terms." 2013. http://www.health.harvard.edu/medical-dictionary-of-health-terms/. Accessed Sept. 2013.
  • Arthritis Foundation. "How Will Osteoarthritis Affect You?" Arthritis Today. 2013. http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/what-to-expect/osteoarthritis-affects.php. Accessed Sept. 2013.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. "Lumbar spinal surgery." Medical Reports. Jan. 2013. http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/presentations/lumbar-spinal-surgery-series. Accessed Sept. 2013.
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