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What does degeneration of the bones and bone spurs in the spine indicate?

Wednesday, 09 March 2011
Answered by: Dr Pankaj Kaw
Consultant, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University,USA
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Q. I am a 65 years old male weighing 95 kg. How to improve bone density? I have been diagnosed with degeneration of bones and burs on spinal bones, which is causing uncomfortable walk and tingling in left leg.

A.  Degeneration of the bones and bone spurs in the spine are a sign of degenerative arthritis of the spine. This is a normal aging process of the spine from the wear and tear of daily life. In most of the patient's this remains asymptomatic without any problem but in some patients osteophytes from arthritis can start putting pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves leading to tingling and numbness in the lower extremity. This can also happen because of degenerative spinal disc with disc bulging and compressing the surrounding nerves. Sometimes the pain can also be from spinals stenosis which is a condition in which the spinal canal itself becomes smaller leading to compression of the spinal cord and causes pain in the lower extremities usually bilateral. My advise to you would be to see your orthopaedic surgeon who can order possibly MRI of spine to see for the cause of tingling in the lower extremity and treat the condition accordingly. The treatment can vary from doing some basic formal physical therapy of the spine, to spinal injections to spinal surgery depending on the results of the MRI.

A.  Degeneration of the bones and bone spurs in the spine are a sign of degenerative arthritis of the spine. This is a normal aging process of the spine from the wear and tear of daily life. In most of the patient's this remains asymptomatic without any problem but in some patients osteophytes from arthritis can start putting pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves leading to tingling and numbness in the lower extremity. This can also happen because of degenerative spinal disc with disc bulging and compressing the surrounding nerves. Sometimes the pain can also be from spinals stenosis which is a condition in which the spinal canal itself becomes smaller leading to compression of the spinal cord and causes pain in the lower extremities usually bilateral. My advise to you would be to see your orthopaedic surgeon who can order possibly MRI of spine to see for the cause of tingling in the lower extremity and treat the condition accordingly. The treatment can vary from doing some basic formal physical therapy of the spine, to spinal injections to spinal surgery depending on the results of the MRI.

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