What is a Bone Spur?

Bone spurs are also known as osteophytes, are bone projections that develop along the edge of bones. While the bone spurs themselves aren’t painful, they can rub against nerves and other bones causing pain. A bone spur can form on any bone, but form most often in the joints. The feet have 33 joints and are a common source for bone spurs. Most bone spurs have no symptoms and can go undetected for years. However, bone spurs can cause pain and loss of motion in your joints.

Diseases and Conditions Associated with Bone Spurs

  • Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH)
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal Stenosis

Bone Spurs may be a normal part of aging, and have been found in older people who don’t have osteoarthritis or other diseases. The body may create spurs to add stability to aging joints and may help to redistribute weight to protect areas of cartilage that are beginning to break down.


Some bone spurs can break off from the larger bone and become loose bodies. Often times they will float in the joint or become imbedded in the lining of the joint causing intermittent locking, which can come and go with the movement of the loose bodies. Treatment varies depending on where the bone spurs are located and how they affect your health. If they don’t limit your movement, treatment is likely not needed.


  1. The Mayo Clinic