Bone Spurs - Cause

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What causes bone spurs?

Bone spurs are usually caused by local inflammation, such as from degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) or tendinitis. This inflammation stimulates the cells that form bone to deposit bone in this area, eventually leading to a bony prominence or spur. For example, inflammation of the ligament that surrounds a degenerating disc between the vertebrae (the bony building blocks of the spine) is a very common cause of bone spurs of the spine. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon can lead to the formation of a bone spur at the back of the heel bone (calcaneus bone). Inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis, can lead to a bone spur at the underside of the heel bone. These bone spurs are sometimes referred to as heel spurs. A bone spur is medically referred to as an osteophyte. Rarely, bone spurs may occur as a result of congenital conditions. An osteochondroma is one type of these congenital spurs.

Picture of the metatarsal (foot) and calcaneus (heel) bones, the plantar fascia ligament, and the Achilles tendon of the lower leg and foot
Picture of the metatarsal (foot) and calcaneus (heel) bones, the plantar fascia ligament, and the Achilles tendon of the lower leg and foot
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Donna, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I fell out of bed landed on my left arm and had it x-rayed in January. I have bone spurs on my forearm and something that starts with an 'a'. They didn't call it arthritis they said it was something else. I also have liver cancer. I have been in pain with my arm and shoulder for months, not even pain pills help it.

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Comment from: Emilyjeanne72, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

On New Year's Day, I fell down the stairs of my porch and broke my ankle, tibia and fibula. I had surgery for the tibia to put in screws and a rod. I was non-weight bearing for 8 weeks. I am walking on it now and it does hurt. I just wonder how long the pain is going to last or if it is just going to hurt forever. It has been 10 weeks since I broke it.

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