Bone Spur On The Elbow- When Is Surgery Recommended?

Bone Spur On The Elbow- When Is Surgery Recommended?

Bone Spur On The Elbow

Bone spurs even called osteophytes are hard, smooth bony projections that form along the edges of the bone. One most common bone spur is the bone spur elbow. They usually develop where bones end or meet each other (joints). Even bones of the spine aren’t free from osteophytes. Most times treatment is not needed and if needed it all depends on the region where they are formed.

What Is A Bone Spur?

In layman's language, bone spurs are bone ejections that occur between the bone's meeting points i.e., the joints. They aren’t a problem causing conditions but when they press on nerves or rupture against other bones one may experience stiffness and pain. They can happen at many places including but not limited to the neck, spine, shoulders, hands, feet, knees, and so on.

Types Of Bone Spur

They are classified based on the location they form. Common types of bone spurs include;

  • Heel spurs
  • Neck spurs
  • Elbow spurs,
  • Foot bone spurs
  • Spine bone spurs
  • Arthritic bone spurs

What Is A Bone Spur In Elbow?

A bone spur formed in the elbow region is a bone spur elbow. Often over usage of the elbow can lead to this. An elbow injury can also lead to this condition. Due to the overactivity of the elbow, the extended forces may cause the elbow spurs or loose fragments of bone or cartilage from the elbow joint region. Often they may be associated with tennis elbow.

Bone Spur On Elbow Symptoms

One may not know if there’s an elbow bone spur or not as often people get away with the impression that pain and swelling are the common symptoms of elbow bone spur are the effects of other conditions. One can only clarify the presence with the help of an X-ray.

[Also Read: What causes swollen hands and feet]

Below are the symptoms one should look for;

  • Pain near the elbow
  • Pressed feeling of nerves present in the elbow. It can also happen with tendons and other structures present in the elbow
  • Increased pain and stiffness when you try to do something associated with the elbow.
  • Tingling and numbness in the elbow area
  • Cramps & muscle spasms
  • The weakness of the elbow
  • Bumps near the elbow
  • At times a bone spur may break and get caught in the joint’s which is called the elbow loose body leading to lock up of the elbow joint making it hard to move or work with.

    What Causes Bone Spur On The Elbows?

    Often the most common cause of any bone spur is the damage of the joint from degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis and so is the case with elbow bone spur. The padding between the elbow bones and joints can also wear and tear with age leading to it.

    Other conditions like Tennis elbow and different arthritis types that directly affect the condition of the elbow lead to it. Injury to a tendon or joint of the elbow may also lead to it. Other causes include;

    • Elbow injuries
    • Overuse of the elbow or additional pressure on elbows
    • Diet
    • Obesity
    • Elbow region problems by birth
    • Narrowing of elbows

    People also surf the net to know are bone spurs genetic and yes they are and genes affect the chances.

    Treatment For A Bone Spur On The Elbow

    To ease pain and lessen swelling, one can try one amongst these over-the-counter pain-relieving drugs;

    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
    • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

    Remember if the pain doesn’t subdue even after taking these medicines for a month consult your doctor saying this.

    Other therapies may include;

    • Rest
    • Steroid shots to lower pain and swelling
    • Physical therapy to enhance elbow joint strength and ease the movement

    Bone Spur On Elbow Surgery - When it Is Recommended?

    When all these above treatments do not affect a bone spur surgery elbow may be recommended to remove the extra growth of the bone. The surgeries include;

    • Elbow arthroscopy
    • Elbow arthrodesis (fusion)
    • Elbow arthroplasty (replacement)
    • Synovectomy and removal of osteophytes

    In all the first 3 procedures the patient should be in an elbow brace or splint for the initial 6 weeks. Following this, a therapist will advise on the motion and work with the elbow. There will be few exercises and physical activities that the patient should work on.

    Following this, most patients become normal by the end of 3-month time and will see no pain or least pain. At this point, strengthening exercises may be recommended.

    Home Remedies For Bone Spurs

    Follow these and you may see an improvement of a bone spur on the elbow. But if you experience any pain and inflammation then without any delay consult the doctor to avoid further risks and side effects.


    Sudheendra Reddy

    Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.