What happens when a bone spur goes untreated?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When a bone spur goes untreated, it can lead to various complications and worsen the condition of the affected joint or tissue. One of the main issues that can arise from untreated bone spurs is inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system responds to the presence of the bone spur, causing redness, swelling, and pain in the surrounding area.

The inflammation caused by bone spurs can be quite problematic. It can further damage the joint or tissue, leading to increased pain and limited mobility. The constant friction between the bone spur and the surrounding structures can result in the breakdown of cartilage, which cushions the joints. This can eventually lead to the development or progression of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition characterized by the deterioration of cartilage.

In some cases, bone spurs can also impinge on nearby nerves, causing nerve compression or irritation. This can result in symptoms such as tingling, numbness, weakness, or shooting pain in the affected area. For example, if a bone spur develops in the spinal column, it can compress nerves and lead to symptoms like sciatica.

Furthermore, untreated bone spurs can contribute to the acceleration of joint or tissue aging. The continuous friction and inflammation caused by the bone spur can lead to the breakdown of collagen, a protein that provides strength and elasticity to the joints and tissues. This can result in reduced flexibility, increased stiffness, and a higher risk of further injuries.

It is important to note that the severity of the symptoms and complications associated with untreated bone spurs can vary depending on various factors such as the size and location of the spur, the individual’s overall health, and the presence of other underlying conditions. Some people may experience minimal symptoms and be able to manage their condition without treatment, while others may require medical intervention.

When a bone spur goes untreated, it can lead to inflammation, further damage to the joint or tissue, and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. It can also cause nerve compression and accelerate the aging process of the affected area. Seeking medical attention and appropriate treatment is crucial to managing the symptoms and preventing potential complications associated with bone spurs.