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Bone Spurs (cont.)

What Are Risk Factors for Bone Spurs?

Risk factors for bone spurs include trauma to a joint. An accident that injures a joint increases the likelihood of osteoarthritis and bone spurs occurring in that joint later in life. Also, overuse of a joint or tendon can predispose one to bone spurs.

Genetics is also a risk factor for the development of bone spurs. People with many family members with bone spurs are more likely to develop bone spurs themselves.

The conditions ankylosing spondylitis and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) both place a person at high risk for developing bone spurs in the spine.

Diabetes is a risk factor for the development of bone spurs and osteoarthritis. The exact connection between these is unknown.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of a Bone Spur?

Bone spurs do not always cause symptoms. Many people have bone spurs but do not know it. However, if bone spurs rub against other bones or nearby soft tissues they can cause pain or a loss of normal motion in a joint. This is most common in the hips, knees, shoulders, hands, and feet.

If the bone spurs rub against tendons or ligaments, they can cause pain or a tear. This is a common complication in the shoulder and can lead to a rotator cuff tear.

If bone spurs occur in the spine, they can cause pain and loss of motion, but they can also pinch the nerves or spinal cord. When nerves in the spine are pinched, it is known as radiculopathy. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs. If the spinal cord is compressed, it is called myelopathy. This can cause problems with balance, weakness, and pain.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/4/2016

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