What Are Bone Spurs in the Knee and How Can They Be Treated?

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bone spurs

Otherwise known as Osteophytes, bone spurs are basically bony lumps which develop within a joint. Known to cause a lot of pain and potential issues with mobility, they are especially common in patients who suffer with Osteoarthritis.

Here, you will discover everything you need to know about bone spurs in the knee. We will also cover how they are typically treated.

What is a bone spur in the knee?

Bone spurs in the knee are smooth projections which extend from the bone. Presenting as bony lumps, they tend to be more prevalent in patients over 60. However, younger patients can also develop them.

If you develop a bone spur within the knee, you may not experience any symptoms at all. However, it can cause significant pain and issues with mobility.

What causes bone spurs?

The main cause of bone spurs in the knee is Osteoarthritis. The condition causes wear and tear of the joint over time. The cartilage located at the end of the bone wears away, causing the body to try and repair itself. Bone spurs are the result of new bone material being generated to replace the cartilage. It is the pressure within the joint that triggers bone spurs to form.

Interestingly, those suffering with Rheumatoid arthritis have a lower risk of developing bone spurs than those with osteoarthritis.

Symptoms to watch out for

Although you won’t necessarily experience any symptoms with a bone spur in the knee, there are some to keep a lookout for. The main symptoms include:

  • Bony areas around the joint
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Pain near the knee
  • Stiffness and reduce range of motion

If you experience any of the symptoms above, it is a good idea to seek advice from a specialist. They will be able to diagnose the problem and determine whether it is bone spurs.

As bone spurs are typically asymptomatic, patients will usually only discover they have them when they undergo an X-Ray.

Your bone spur treatment options

If you do develop bone spurs and they are causing issues with pain or mobility, you do have several treatment options.

Medications can be prescribed to help with the inflammation caused by the bone spurs in the knee. Corticosteroid injections tend to be the most common treatment of choice due to their effectiveness at relieving pain.

Physical therapy is another common treatment option. As well as helping to relieve pain and improve range of motion, physiotherapy can also slow down the progression of cartilage loss. Strengthening the muscles around the knee with targeted exercises can help them to better cope with the added pressure they face.

It may be that you need to have the bone spurs removed via surgery. A knee arthroscopy is the most common procedure used to repair the joint and remove damaged cartilage. This method is minimally invasive, and it boasts a good success rate.

Overall, if bone spurs aren’t causing any symptoms, they may not need to be treated at all. However, for patients who are experiencing mobility issues or pain, there are several treatment options available. Call 0203 195 244 to book a consultation with London knee specialist Mr Jonathan Webb now to determine the best course of treatment for your bone spurs in the knee.