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What is spurring of the endplates?

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Quick Answer

Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, form along the edges of the vertebral endplates of the spine, according to the Laser Spine Institute. The body creates these spurs to support a weak spine. However, facet disease can remove the cartilage and cause the bones to grind against each other painfully.

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Full Answer

Bone spurs appear as projections formed along the edges of bones, often found in joints where bones meet each other, states Mayo Clinic. They form naturally and are not considered a disease or disorder, and they may not always need treatment to correct. Many bone spurs don't cause pain or other symptoms, but sometimes bone spurs along the spine pinch the spinal cord or various nerves, causing pain, weakness or numbness in the limbs.

While bone spurs are by themselves harmless, some individuals have reported that their range of movement is periodically limited, according to Mayo Clinic. This is attributed to bone spurs breaking off and drifting into the joint or becoming limited, interfering with the joint's movement. As the particles shift with movement, the interference comes and goes.

Treatment is usually limited to over-the-counter painkillers, Mayo Clinic explains. However, if bone spurs are limiting movement or causing regular bouts of numbness and tingling, a doctor may recommend that they be removed surgically.

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