What causes bone spurs?

3 Answers

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Bone spurs can be caused by various stressful activities, most often on the foot. I used to play a great deal of softball, and I developed bone spurs on my heels. Doctors told me they probably came about from either the constant batting (the various foot movements made while swinging); and/or the constant running and movement made while playing. Most of my pain came on the inner heel, especially when I ran the bases and particularly when I pushed off the bag. I chose to deal with the pain and, luckily for me, after I quit playing regularly, I never had any more problems. I don't know if this is normal, since many bone spurs must be surgically repaired.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are very common. They are often seen in conditions such as arthritis. They are bony projections that form around the joints and are capable of causing a lot of pain and discomfort.

Bone spurs form because the body in trying to increase the surface area of the joint. The reason for this is because the surface area may have been damaged due to arthritis or other conditions.

Bone spurs can be an indication that there is an underlying medical condition. This is why it important to check with your doctor.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Generally it is some kind of stress on a certain bone or joint that causes the bone to generate more growth in order to repair or strengthen that area or the joint.  This stress can be rubbing or a pulling on the bone or even just caused by aging.

Bone spurs can also be brought on by continuous repetitive activities such as running or dancing or other activities that place particular stress on specific bones or joints or even ligaments repetitively over a long period of time.

These bone spurs can be very painful and can begin to limit movement of surrounding tissues whether bone or ligament or other soft tissues.