Bone Spur

What is a Bone Spur?

A bone spur is a sharp, pointed outgrowth of extra bone that forms on the edge of normal bone. It typically develops over time due to consistent wear and tear or repetitive movement in one area. Bone spurs are usually painless but can cause irritation, swelling, and discomfort if they press against other tissues, such as nerves or muscles.

Types of Bone Spurs include:

The different types of bone spur are related to their place of origin and the conditions that caused them to form. Each type of bone spur requires different treatments depending on its location and exact cause for formation.

  1. Osteophytes: These are the most common type of bone spur and occur when small bony protrusions grow along a joint or tendon. 
  2. Heel Spurs: Heel spurs form on the bottom of your heel, often due to repetitive stress injuries from running or jumping. 
  3. Synovial Spurring: This type of bone spur is caused by an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis that results in excessive fluid production around a joint and increased pressure on the surrounding tissues. 
  4. Enthesophyte Spurring: Enthesophyte spurs typically affect people with plantar fasciitis — inflammation at the base of your foot near your heel — and often happen as part of another underlying problem like obesity or diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar).
  5. Bone Spur Under the Nail: A bone spur under the nail, or onychogryphosis, is an abnormal growth of bone underneath a fingernail or toenail. This condition can cause pain, discomfort and discoloration of the nail and impair its ability to provide protection for the tip of the finger or toe. 

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the affected area when moving or exercising. 
  • Swelling and tenderness around the affected bone. 
  • Grinding, clicking, or snapping sensation when trying to move a joint. 
  • Difficulty walking due to pain around the joint area. 
  • A feeling of stiffness after staying in one position for too long.

What are the Common Causes of Bone Spurs? 

  1. Osteoarthritis – Bone spurs are most commonly caused by osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage surrounding the joints. As the cartilage wears away, new layers of bone form around the edges of your joint resulting in a painful bony lump known as a bone spur. 
  2. Repetitive Movement – Excessive or repetitive movement may also cause small bumps to develop on bones where soft tissue is attached and pulled tight over them during movement activities such as running and jumping. This leads to friction between bones which can lead to bony growths called bone spurs. 
  3. Injuries– Fractures or trauma from an injury can result in bone spurs due to increased scarring and stress at healing areas along with calcium buildup associated with repair activity in the area affected by an injury that can cause calcification leading to the formation of bone spurs. 
  4. Conditions like heel pain (plantar fasciitis) or Achilles tendonitis, tendons linking muscles on each side become inflamed causing aggravation for nearby bones, increasing the possibility for calcareous deposits, which may turn into a recognizable bony spur when viewed under X-ray imaging after implementation tests like an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

How Can I Prevent the Development of Bone Spurs? 

Bone spurs can be prevented by avoiding injury and practicing proper body mechanics when engaging in activities. Maintaining strong muscles around joints, stretching regularly to improve flexibility, and losing excess weight can also help prevent the development of bone spurs. 

In addition, ensuring adequate nutrition intake of minerals such as calcium and vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones. Cooking with cast iron pots or taking dietary supplements may help increase your dietary intake of these essential nutrients. 

Finally, maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and a balanced diet will go a long way toward preventing the development of bone spurs.

Why Is Diet Important in Controlling or Reducing the Severity of a Bone Spur? 

Diet is important in controlling or reducing the severity of a bone spur because, as with any condition, what you eat directly affects your overall health. A diet that provides necessary nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D is key to preventing and managing bone spurs. 

Additionally, a healthy balanced diet containing colorful produce, lean protein sources and complex carbohydrates can help reduce inflammation by minimizing sugar and processed foods while balancing your blood sugar levels. Eating more nutrient-rich plant-based proteins such as nuts and beans instead of meats can also be beneficial when trying to lower inflammation associated with bone spurs.

Knowing When to Seek Medical Attention for Symptoms Related to Bone Spurs 

If you are experiencing significant pain or discomfort related to bone spurs, seeking medical attention from a podiatrist is important. In some cases, bone spurs may cause nerve compression, leading to severe and debilitating symptoms that should be evaluated and appropriately treated by a healthcare provider. 

You should also see a podiatrist if you notice any changes in the area of your body affected by the bone spur (such as redness, swelling or warmth), as these could indicate an underlying infection that requires medical treatment. 

Additionally, suppose you start having difficulty with walking or simple daily activities due to the presence of bone spurs. In that case, speaking with a podiatrist about possible treatments for this condition is advisable.

Planning Your Next Visit With Greenberg Podiatry

By scheduling regular checkups with us at Greenberg Podiatry, you can feel confident that any future problems can be spotted early before developing into more significant issues requiring more intensive care! 

So don't wait until it's too late – book an appointment today for healthful advice about planning your next visit with Greenwood Podiatry in Ottawa-- We anticipate hearing from you soon!