A bone spur, also called an osteophyte, is an abnormal growth of bone occurring at the edge of a bone, usually where two bones meet. Bone spurs most commonly form in the cervical (upper) spine, lumbar (lower) spine, heel, shoulder, and knee, but they can also be found in the hip, elbow, finger, and toe joint. The ends of normal, healthy bones are covered by cartilage, protecting them from rubbing against surrounding bones. When bone spurs appear, however, they do not form with that protective layer of cartilage, so they have the ability to cause a lot of pain.
The repetitive rubbing together of bones most commonly is the cause of bone spurs. After prolonged periods of overwork or overuse, cartilage becomes worn down, exposing bare bone that is vulnerable to degeneration. This happens often with people suffering from osteoarthritis and/or tendonitis, both of which are inflammatory conditions. The formation of bone spurs is the body's way of compensating for the wear and tear.
Bone spurs that grow in the hip joint can cause serious problems when they press against the nerves in the surrounding tissues or bones. There are two areas in which bone spurs can grow in the hip: on the femoral head and on the acetabulum. Nerve impingement can cause many serious neurological problems. Nerves are composed of a plethora of tiny neurons, which, joined together, conduct electrical signals that allow the brain and body to communicate sensory messages and carry out motor functions. When any irregular growth, like a bone spur,imposes upon a nearby nerve, extra pressure is exerted on the nerve, putting this "tunnel" of communication at risk of disruption. If too much pressure is put upon a nerve, electrical signals can no longer be conducted, leading to loss of feeling in the affected limbs. Bone spurs that interfere with a ball-and-socket joint can severely impede the hip's normal range of motion. Nerve impingement within the hip joint is called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). This is dangerous because it can cause labral tears in the hip.
It is possible to have bone spurs in the hip joint without having any symptoms for a while. Some bone spurs are not particularly harmful or disruptive at first and are easily overlooked. However, when the condition becomes painful, the normal range of motion restricted, and numbness/weakness of the extremities occurs, it is time to seek medical assistance. Bone spurs can cause pain and loss of motion due to nerve impingement. At Spine & Sports Medicine, our experts here will conduct a thorough examination and X-ray (if necessary) to properly detect any bone spurs. They will assess the situation according to your symptoms, tests, and medical history. In some more severe cases, surgery is needed to remove the growth, followed by physical therapy rehabilitation. Because the hip joint has such a wide range of motion, bone spur interference can cause major movement dysfunctions. In general, a physical therapy treatment plan can help mitigate the pain caused by bone spurs. Working with a physical therapist to strengthen the structures in the hip and to increase flexibility can allow you to regain a normal range of motion and be free of pain. Electrical stimulation is sometimes used to reduce muscle spasms, pain, and inflammation. When bone spurs occur in the hip it is extremely important to seek medical help immediately. Major inflammation is a result of bone spurs in the hip and can cause chronic, excruciating pain. If left alone without treatment, surgical intervention is often required, which in this case would be a hip replacement.
Based on a meticulous examination, a diagnosis is made and a comprehensive treatment plan is devised tailored specifically to each unique situation. It is very important to seek professional advice and treatment when dealing with hip pain because this is a condition that can become very serious very quickly. Our experts here at Spine & Sports Medicine are professionals trained to diagnose each condition; they are also highly educated on the best treatments for each respective injury. It is crucial that the injury is diagnosed correctly; otherwise further damage may be done.
If you think you are suffering from a bone spur in the hip, call us now to make an immediate appointment (212 986-3888). A serious underlying medical problem may be present and delaying treatment can cause it to worsen. Our office is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, Madison Avenue and 40th Street. Most insurance covers bone spur treatment.
Let's get the paperwork out of the way!
Download and print PDF versions of our new patient forms so you can fill them out before you get here!
Or, if you'd prefer to speak with a live and lively person, call our receptionist to schedule your appointment.