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osteophytes, osteophyte formation
Osteophytes, commonly referred to as bone spurs1 are bony projections that form along joint margins2 They should not be confused with enthesophytes, which are bony projections that form at the attachment of a tendon or ligament3 Osteophytes are not always distinguished from exostoses in any definite way, although in many cases there are a number of differences4


  • 1 Cause
  • 2 Pathophysiology
  • 3 Treatments
  • 4 Fossil record
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


X-ray showing a small bone spur as marked by the arrow

Osteophyte formation has been classically related to any sequential and consequential changes in bone formation that is due to aging, degeneration, mechanical instability, and disease such as diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis Often osteophytes form in osteoarthritic joints as a result of damage and wear from inflammation Calcification and new bone formation can also occur in response to mechanical damage in joints5


Osteophytes form because of the increase in a damaged joint's surface area This is most common from the onset of arthritis Osteophytes usually limit joint movement and typically cause pain1

Osteophytes form naturally on the back of the spine as a person ages and are a sign of degeneration in the spine In this case, the spurs are not the source of back pains, but instead are the common symptom of a deeper problem However, bone spurs on the spine can impinge on nerves that leave the spine for other parts of the body This impingement can cause pain in both upper and lower limbs and a numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet because the nerves are supplying sensation to their dermatomes 1

Spurs can also appear on the feet, either along toes or the heel, as well as on the hands In extreme cases, bone spurs have grown along a person's entire skeletal structure: along the knees, hips, shoulders, ribs, arms and ankles Such cases are only exhibited with multiple exostoses

Osteophytes on the fingers or toes are known as Heberden's nodes if on the distal interphalangeal joint or Bouchard's nodes if on the proximal interphalangeal joints

Osteophytes may also be the end result of certain disease processes Osteomyelitis, a bone infection, may leave the adjacent bone with a spur formation Charcot foot, the neuropathic breakdown of the feet seen primarily in diabetics, can also leave bone spurs that may then become symptomatic


Normally, asymptomatic cases are not treated Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and surgery are two typical options for the rest

Fossil recordedit

Main article: Paleopathology

Evidence for bone spurs found in the fossil record is studied by paleopathologists, specialists in ancient disease and injury Bone spurs have been reported in dinosaur fossils from several species, including Allosaurus fragilis, Neovenator salerii, and Tyrannosaurus rex6


  1. ^ a b c Bone spurs MayoCliniccom
  2. ^ "osteophyte" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ Rogers J, Shepstone L, Dieppe P Feb 1997 "Bone formers: osteophyte and enthesophyte formation are positively associated" Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 56 2: 85–90 PMC 1752321  PMID 9068279 doi:101136/ard56285 
  4. ^ "The Medico-chirurgical Review and Journal of Medical Science" Burgess and Hill 1 January 1844 
  5. ^ Nathan M, Pope MH, Grobler LJ Aug 1994 "Osteophyte formation in the vertebral column: a review of the etiologic factors--Part II" Contemporary Orthopaedics 29 2: 113–9 PMID 10150240 
  6. ^ Molnar, R E 2001 "Theropod Paleopathology: A Literature Survey" In Tanke, D H; Carpenter, K Mesozoic Vertebrate Life Bloomington: Indiana University Press pp 337–363 ISBN 0-253-33907-3 

External linksedit

  • Mayo Clinic website concise information on bone spurs

osteophyte complex, osteophyte formation, osteophyte formation treatment, osteophyte treatment, osteophytes, osteophytes cervical spine, osteophytes in thoracic spine, osteophytes knee, osteophytes lumbar spine, osteophytes meaning

Osteophyte Information about


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    Osteophyte beatiful post thanks!


Osteophyte viewing the topic.
Osteophyte what, Osteophyte who, Osteophyte explanation

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