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How are bone spurs diagnosed?
Bone spurs are detected by radiologic testing, such as with plain X-rays, ultrasound imaging, MRI scan, CT scan, and myelograms.
What is the treatment for bone spurs?
Bone spurs are treated only if they are causing symptoms. Initial treatment is directed toward decreasing inflammation and avoiding reinjury when possible. Local cold application can help when the location of the bone spur is accessible. Anti-inflammatory medications, administered both orally and by local injection (Kenalog, Depomedrol, Celestone), are commonly used, depending on the location of the spur. Local mechanical measures, such as orthotics, or shoe inserts, and local bone spur pads might be considered, depending on the location of the bone spur. Bone spurs that are causing irritation of nerves, tendons or ligaments and that are resistant to conservative measures can require surgical operations for treatment.
What is the prognosis (outlook) for bone spurs?
Bone spurs that are not associated with symptoms may never cause problems and do not require treatment. The outlook for bone spurs causing symptoms varies. Bone spurs can cause mild symptoms or be severely disabling, especially if they are directly irritating nerves.
Can bone spurs be prevented?
There are no means of preventing bone spurs.
Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.