Symptoms and Signs of Bone Spurs

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Bone Spurs

A bone spur, medically known as an osteophyte, is a small, pointed outgrowth of bone. Bone spurs are usually caused by inflammation in the area, such as from degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis, or tendinitis. The presence of inflammation causes bone-forming cells to deposit bone in this area, eventually leading to a bony prominence (spur). Bone spurs are common around the heel bone and around the spine, but they can occur anywhere.

Bone spurs may or may not cause symptoms. If they do cause symptoms, the associated symptoms and signs depend on the exact location of the bone spur. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, and tenderness of the affected area. Spurs in the heel may cause swelling and pain of the foot as well as problems with walking and weight-bearing.

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.