Understanding Your Surgical Treatment Options for Bone Spurs

May 7th 2016


Doctors perform a laminectomy for bone spurs along the spinal column by removing part of the lamina, or the part of a vertebra that covers the spinal canal and protects spinal nerves. Doctors enlarge the spinal canal to relieve pressure on spinal cord and nerves when bone spurs pinch nerves. Bone spurs in the spine normally occur due to arthritis or other conditions. Surgeons perform a laminectomy after medication, injections or physical therapy do not relieve symptoms. If bone spurs make symptoms worse, doctors may suggest surgery sooner rather than later.

Release of Plantar Fascia

In the heel, surgical techniques include release of the plantar fascia or removal of the bone spur. A doctor creates a small incision in the heel and then makes a tiny cut along the plantar fascia ligament to relieve pressure on the heel bone. Surgeons may then remove a large bone spur with a small device called an endoscope. The possibility of nerve damage increases with an endoscope rather than an open incision.

Doctors generally perform surgery nine to 12 months after other treatments fail to improve mobility and ease pain. Nonsurgical treatments include rest, calf stretches, ice wraps and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doctors could recommend other ways to treat bone spurs before surgery, such as cortisone injections, special shoes, splints and extracorporeal shockwave therapy.

Smoothing the Bone

Doctors scrape and smooth the bone to help bone spurs in toes. Patients with bone spurs in toes usually get them on the fifth toe. These bony protrusions may occur due to excessive pressure of the toes on each other while wearing shoes. Doctors make a small incision near the spur before making the growth smaller with a rasp or power burr. The incision typically requires just one stitch to suture the opening. If the spur remains near a toenail, a surgeon may remove part of the nail during surgery. When the spur happens because of a curving of the fifth toe, surgeons may make another incision to release the tendon in the bottom of the fifth toe.


Doctors usually employ surgical treatments for bone spurs after nonsurgical treatments fail to relieve systems after several months. The type of surgery depends on the location of the bone spur. Recovery times vary for these procedures, although more advanced tools may help the healing process by creating smaller incisions and less invasive surgeries.

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