What is Osteophytosis? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

If the intensity of pain has not noted on a scale, pain from broken or overgrown bones will be on a higher scale after pain from diseases. The best thing about the serious condition of bones can be treated with proper operation. After a certain interval of time, a person can live like before.

On the other hand, there are many diseases which can’t be cured to make a patient completely normal. But irrespective of the condition, precautionary actions should always be taken for better health. So today, we are going to discuss a condition called Osteophytosis is associated with the growth of bones.

What is Osteophytosis?

Osteophytosis or commonly referred to as Bone Spur is a condition in which there is an outgrowth of bones in the joints. They can also form in the spines. This tiny pointed outgrowth is referred to as an Osteophyte.

Bone Spurs, for the most part, don’t cause any trouble but if they are rubbing on other bones or come in contact with any nerves, then it can be a painful experience.

Bone spurs are usually small in size, however, they do grow in time. In rare occasions, they may grow large so as to restrict movements in a joint. That is when the condition becomes serious and medical treatment ought to be sought.


Osteophytosis is special in the sense that it has no particular symptoms and can go undetected for many years. The main cause of Osteophytosis is the damage in the joints due to Osteoarthritis. Bone spurs have been more commonly observed in people above the age of 60. That doesn’t mean youngsters will be free of this condition.

People who have arthritis also have a higher risk of developing Bone Spurs. The treatment depends upon the extent of development of the Bone spur and its location. Bone Spurs cannot be prevented. In this article, we will be looking at all the relevant information regarding Osteophytosis causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and, more.

Osteophytosis symptoms

Osteophytosis symptoms

  1. Typically, there are no symptoms of bone spurs. Sometimes it requires X-Ray to identify the bone-growths. If found in the heels, you would experience foot pain, swelling, and tenderness. There might also be inflammation at the bottom of the foot.
  2. If the Bone Spurs is found in the hips then the movement in the hip region will be severely limited. You might even feel pain in the knees.
  3. Another area where Osteophytes can be found is in the spinal region. This leads to back pain and can cause penetration of the nerve cells there. This leads to numbness or tingling feeling in the region connected to the nerve.
  4. Other common symptoms include Muscle spasms, cramps, and bumps under the skin. You might even have trouble controlling bowels and urine if the bones come in contact with certain nerves in the spine. The symptoms gradually worsen on exercising the concerned joints.
Osteophytosis pictures

Osteophytosis pictures

Osteophytosis radiograph
Osteophytosis bone spur
Osteophytosis causes

Osteophytosis causes

The main cause of Osteophytosis is damage of the joints due to Osteoarthritis. The long term wear and tear on the joints is responsible for this condition. What happens in Osteoarthritis is the cartilage cushioning the ends of the bones break down. As a result, the body attempts to fix the problem by creating bone spurs in the damaged area.

Usually, the condition is found in old age people, but if the joints have been damaged due to accidents, sports injuries, etc. then there is a chance of Osteophytosis popping up earlier.

Osteophytosis diagnosis

Osteophytosis diagnosis & testing

Bone spurs are not the problem but they are an indication of another problem lying underneath. If you feel you have symptoms of Osteophytosis then a visit to a rheumatologist or orthopedic doctor is necessary. Rheumatologists specialize in treating joint problems and orthopedics focus on the musculoskeletal system.

The doctors can feel the bone spurs or may even recommend an X-Ray to check the growth of the bone. The doctors may also conduct the following tests:

MRI Scan

This is a painless procedure in which a strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to create images of internal organs. MRI scan does not use harmful radiations and that is what separates it from other treatments. However, the cost of MRI treatment might be too much for some.

CT Scan

Basically, this is a more powerful version of the X-Ray. This produces much more detailed images compared to regular X-Rays. The images clearly depict soft tissues, bones, and blood vessels in the various parts of the body.

Electroconductive Tests

These tests are used to see how much damage has been caused to the nerves by the bone spurs. They measure how fast the nerves transmit electrical signals.

Osteophytosis treatment

Osteophytosis treatment

If the Bone outgrowth is resulting in mild pain and is physically barely noticeable, then the doctor might prescribe the use of a painkiller. Anti-inflammatory medications are used to reduce inflammation. They can be administered orally or as steroid injections. Steroid injections can be performed on the same joint for up to 3 times a year.

Some of the pail relievers which can be used are:

  1. Acetaminophen
  2. Ibuprofen
  3. Naproxen Sodium

Avoid taking them in high doses as it can lead to side effects. Bone spur pads and shoe inserts are mechanical ways of mitigating the effects of Osteophytosis. The use of physical therapy and quality rest is also a good idea.

If the bone spurs are affecting your movement or causing nerve problems then surgery would be needed.

Final verdict,

Bone spurs are not a dangerous or painful condition in most cases. Only in rare cases is a surgery required. The key is in identifying the symptoms as fast as possible. As time passes the bone spurs may grow and cause more trouble. If you have any queries apart from the information we’ve provided, do write to us.

2 thoughts on “What is Osteophytosis? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment”

  1. I have same mild problem of osteophytosis and doctar suggest me cycling and walking for broken spurs…are this is right way for relief that problem

    • It is the best time to take a short leave from exercise. However, gentle 5 min. light exercise maintain flexibility.


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