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Osteophyte: Bone Spur Results from Arthritis

By HERWriter
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arthritis can result in osteophytes or bone spurs Comstock Images/Thinkstock

Many moons ago when I’d walk around downtown Chicago in my high heels, I’d occasionally feel this weird rubbing sensation of my heel against my shoe.

I told my roommate about it and she said, “It sounds like you may have a bone spur.”

A bone spur? What in the world is a bone spur? I immediately visualized a cowboy’s spur attached to the heel of my foot.

Once I brought myself back to reality, I asked my knowledgeable roommate about bone spurs. My roommate mentioned that her mom had a bone spur on her spine.

Generally a bone spur, or osteophyte, is the result of arthritis. Over years, arthritis patients lose cartilage, which results in arthritis aches and pains.

According to CNN, “Bone spurs are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones. Also called osteophytes, bone spurs often form where bones meet each other — in your joints. Bone spurs can also form on the bones of your spine.”

“In an attempt to repair the loss of cartilage, your body creates extra bone to help increase the surface area for load bearing,” stated the CNN website.

The main complication of a bone spur is called a loose body. A loose body occurs when the bone spur breaks off from the bone.

When the bone spur breaks off it can become lodged in your joint and cause the joint to lock up. The joint locking can be intermittent as the loose bodies move in and out of the joint.

Bone spurs occur mainly in the following areas: knees, spine, hip, shoulder and fingers.

The symptoms of a bone spur depends on the location. For example, if your fingers look knobby at the joints, you may have a bone spur. According to CNN, other symptoms of bone spurs include the following:


Bone spurs can make it painful to move your hip, although the pain is sometimes referred down to your knee. Depending upon the placement, bone spurs also can reduce the range of motion in your hip joint.


Bone spurs in your knee may make it painful to extend and bend your leg. The bony growths can get in the way of bones and tendons that keep your knee operating smoothly.


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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