Osteophytosis - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is osteophytosis? Osteophytes, more commonly known as "bone spurs", are outgrowths of bone tissue that form around damaged joints. This bone growth is thought to be a compensatory response to bone and ligament damage, and is meant to restrict movement of the joint to protect from further damage. Joints that are prone to damage from overuse and arthritis, such as those in the spine and hands, are most likely to develop osteophytes, though any bone can develop them. They can also form as a result of osteomyelitis (bone infection).
Osteophytes in the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) are known as Heberden's nodes, and those in proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) are called Bouchard's nodes. The presence or absence of PIP, DIP, and metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP) osteophytes provide a good clinical means of differentiating rheumatoid arthritis from osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, osteophytes are commonly seen in the DIP and PIP and rarely seen in the MCP. In contrast, patients with rheumatoid arthritis commonly present with osteophytic growth in the PIP and MCP, but rarely in the DIP.

What is Osteophytosis - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Sometimes, the bones at edges or joints experience growth of osteophytes or spurs that hurt the patients. It is an outgrowth of small bone or tissues around injured or accidentally damaged joints of human body. There are also many explanations about what is osteophytosis and how it may happen. It is generally a bone disorder that is easy to treat by some formal methods, advanced surgeries and few specific drugs that reduce the inflammatory growth of bone tissues and prevent it happening in future among the patients.
  • Osteophytosis Definition
  • Osteophytosis Symptoms
  • Osteophytosis Causes
  • Osteophytosis Treatment
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint cartilage that is characterized by joint pain and discomfort. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage at the end of the bones to break down, which leads to a loss of cushioning and support. Once this occurs, osteophytes often form, which increase the surface area of the bone and may be an attempt by the body to better distribute the weightbearing function. In severe cases, however, osteophytes may cause additional pain.
What is Osteophytosis
Although any bone can develop osteophytes due to overuse or osteoarthritis, osteophytosis is common in regularly used joints such as the hips, shoulders, spine, knees and hands. In the spine, osteophytosis can be a sign of spinal degeneration, and any associated pain generally indicates spinal nerve impingement. Osteophytes often go undetected for years because many of these bony projections are asymptomatic. Most patients only seek treatment if pain develops or worsens. Due to this lack of symptoms, many osteophytes are diagnosed during X-rays for other conditions.

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Osteophytosis Definition

Osteophytosis  can be defined as presence of one or more spurs or osteophytes near or on the edges of joints. Definitely, this health condition hurts the patients and physical movement becomes impossible or full of pain shocks. If the osteophytosis happens in joints of arms, shoulder and legs, then it would be a critical condition. However, the presence of spurs in the backbone and spinal cord may lead extremely complicated conditions that are more complex to treat and recover. Osteophytosis may be of different types with several stages that become more painful over time. This bone disorder is more challenging for surgeons and doctors to treat in aged people.
Osteophytosis Definition
Osteophytosis is a condition characterized by the formation and presence of bone spurs or osteophytes. These are outgrowths of bone tissue around damaged and injured joints that result from the wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis and often develop along the edges of bones. 


Osteophytes are smooth excrescences, or outgrowths, of immature bone that form over time.


Another name for an osteophyte is a bone spur, a misnomer because the shape of an osteophyte isn't spiky.


Osteophytosis occurs in musculoskeletal disorders, such as neuropathic osteoarthropathy, Wilson's disease, acromegaly, macrodystrophia lipomatosa progressiva, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hypertosis DISH and osteoarthritis


Osteophytosis occurs near joints, where there has been deterioration.


The growth of bone spurs can be an attempt by the body to prevent a joint from moving, such as in arthritis of the spine.

Osteophytosis Symptoms

Osteophytosis is a common joint disorder in humans and there are many common Osteophytosis symptoms and signs. It is enough to observe these symptoms to declare Osteophytosis in any patient. Most of Osteophytosis signs can only be experienced in form of severe and intensive pain in joints during some physical movement. However, proper diagnosing of Osteophytosis is declared by some X-Rays and medical tests of the patients. Some of Osteophytosis signs and symptoms are;
  • Swelling in joints having spurs or Osteophytes
  • Severe pain and electric shocks
  • Quick outgrowths of bone tissues on joints
  • Joint thickness
  • Intolerable pain and discomfort during physical movement
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, in some conditions
  • Breathing problems when walking etc.

Osteophytosis Causes

There are not specific and confirmed causes of osteophytosis because it may happen by different bone injuries, joint problems and some spontaneous outgrowth of tissues on joints. However, medical science has discovered some very well-known osteophytosis causes that may lead this critical bone disorder in people. First of all, outgrowths of bone tissues may cause osteophytosis. This growth of tissues on joints may happen naturally. However, some steroids and health supplements also promote the joint edges and maximize their sizes quickly. Joint weakness and swelling can also cause bone tissue development that may result in osteophytosis.

Osteophytosis Treatment

Basically, there is no standard osteophytosis treatment yet, but some of the therapies, surgeries, medicines and physical workouts may reduce bone tissue growth and overcome the pain. Therapies and surgeries both are expensive treatments of osteophytosis because these curing methods are not available everywhere in the world. Secondly, there are also some high potency drugs that can recover a patient from joint swelling, pain and outgrowths of bone tissues. Further, these drugs can also prevent causes of osteophytosis. Medicines also deliver many common and some serious side effects to patients suffering from osteophytosis. It is also easy to treat in early stages, while complications will be more in treating this painful joint disorder in serious stages.


Medications can be taken to ease the pain and swelling of osteophytes. Ibuprofen and Naproxen are both anti-inflammatory medications that are used to treat bone spurs. These medications are usually taken three to four times a day for a maximum period of four weeks. Medication is usually given before any other treatment is administered. If mediation does not relieve the pain, cortisone shots are typically given.

Cortisone Injections

Cortisone injections are steroid injections that can provide temporary relief to osteophytes. Cortisone is naturally released by the adrenal gland when your body is under stress, and is short-acting. The synthetic shots are designed to work longer than naturally occurring cortisone. The effects of the cortisone injections can be felt within a few days and usually last weeks. Cortisone is injected directly into the area of inflammation in high concentrations.

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If conventional methods of treatment do not work, surgery may be necessary. The two most common surgeries for bone spurs are a cheilectomy and an arthrodesis. A cheilectomy is done to completely remove the bone spurs. An arthrodesis is done to fuse the growth to the normal part of the bone. This can often cause stiffness and an inability to move certain parts of the joint, but it will eliminate much of the pain that is caused form the spurs.

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