KNEEtalk

The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Clearing spurs and cysts => Topic started by: Heather M. on August 08, 2002, 03:00:42 AM

Title: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: Heather M. on August 08, 2002, 03:00:42 AM
My OS identified these on my merchant view x-rays, saying that they were on each side of the kneecap.  He pointed to what looked like each edge of the trochlear groove.  The ones in my surgical knee are bigger, but my good knee has them as well.

He didn't think they were causing my pain--he really felt that was adhesions from the previous surgery pulling the kneecap around.  Also, I had these bone spurs in the x-ray taken before my surgery, so they are not new.

I've never really heard anything about bone spurs in the knee.  Can anyone explain to me a little more about these and what causes them?  What do they mean, etc.  I will ask my PT on Friday as well, just wanted to make sure I understood the concept going in.

Thanks a bunch.

Heather
Title: Re: Bone spurs?
Post by: Kara on August 08, 2002, 04:19:28 AM
Hi Heather,

I also was told I had bone spurs in my knee. From what my OS said it's because of all the years of my patella rubbing straight on the bone (I have no cartalidge left). This creates tiny little ragged edges, like thorns, which your bone then tries to heal by making more bone on top of it.  I am told sometimes they can get large  enough to need fixing but most of the time they are just irritating to your knee.
K
Title: Re: Bone spurs?
Post by: Jennifer on August 08, 2002, 09:43:36 AM
Heather~~~~~

My bone spur was on the trochlear and was big enough to dig a divot in the back of my patella.  I had a LR and the OS hadn't looked around when he dropped the patella on the osteophyte (the LR was to help with my lateral tilt).  The osteophyte made quite a mess of the back of my patella.  The next OS (current) did chondroplasty to get some new tissue, but I still have a divot.

The best clue that the osteophyte was a problem was that my patella was freezing in place...it is a remarkable experience

:o  :o  :o

Do a search on the net using the term osteophyte and you may get more info...lots of heel spur stuff will come up too if you don't limit to knees.

http://orthopedics.about.com/library/glossary/bldef-osteophyte.htm

http://www.hopkins-arthritis.som.jhmi.edu/osteo/osteo_clin_pres.html

Good luck.

Jennifer
Title: Re: Bone spurs?
Post by: The KNEEguru on August 10, 2002, 05:52:02 PM
I think of the arthritic knee as desperately trying to heal the damaged joint cartilage - which has very little of its own healing ability - and the underlying bone goes crazy trying to solve this dilemma. Bone is dissolved in some places (forming cysts) and then heaped up in others (forming osteophytes - which means 'bone mushroom') but all this activity is unable to solve the problem and often just makes it worse.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: SarahSmile on February 03, 2004, 07:33:00 AM
Hi Heather,

I too had a huge bone spur that was stabbing my ACL and MCL ligaments- dr removed it last week.
I am curious to learn more about them and why they develop since the dr can't gurantee that it won't grow back... Do you have any articles or more info on them?

Thanks :D

Sarah
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: stgiles16 on February 01, 2005, 06:41:39 PM
HI Heather, I had bone spurs grow after my failed microfracture. It seems that the fibrocart would not grow so the bone over did it trying to fill in the gap with resulting pain and irritation. OS removed the bone spurs 2 surgeries ago when he redid the microfractue. MIne were on the medial femoral chondyle.
missy
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: akam. on April 28, 2005, 10:49:31 AM
Hi,

I posted yesterday about by recent knee arthroscopy and waiting for a LR to fix the patella.

When I was waiting for the arthroscopy I had a discussion with my surgeon, who explained that I have these bony spurs on my femur.... I also have what looks like a "bird's beak" on the edges of my patellae, these "beaks" hook round against my femur.

I always wondered how these were formed, and it seems that, as my patellae are not central, they have worn away the lateral side of the femoral groove - the cartilage is down to the bone here -  and hence I believe the spurs have formed as my body tries to combat the friction.

I'm not actually sure if the pain I sometimes suffer is caused by these spurs, as the surgeon explained that the ligaments have tightened and hardened. As I bend and flex my knee, these ligaments "pop" across, visibly and audibly. Maybe it is popping across a bony spur. Who knows!

akam.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: stgiles16 on April 28, 2005, 12:12:01 PM
I had bone spurs develop after a microfracture. My OS said that it was my body trying to heal the defect. Unfortunately, I formed bone spurs instead of fibercart after the first microfracture resulting in more surgery (another micro plus cleaning up the bone spurs and plica removal,and something else, that escapes me now LOL) Can you tell that I have had wayyyy too many surgeries ?

missy
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: amy1 on June 23, 2005, 05:09:22 PM
I also have some fairly large spurs.  I am going to have a lateral release and medial plication.  The doctor will remove the spurs at the same time
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: shadehawk on July 02, 2005, 09:56:39 PM
Found this article on bone spurs and found it very interesting.....

Definition: Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are bony projections that form along joints, and are often seen in conditions such as arthritis. Bone spurs are largely responsible for limitations in joint motion and can cause pain.
The reason for bone spur formation is the body is trying to increase the surface area of the joint to better distribute weight across a joint surface that has been damaged by arthritis or other conditions. Unfortunately, this is largely wasted effort by our body as the bone spur can become restrictive and painful.

Bone spurs themselves are not problematic, but they are a signal of an underlying problem that often needs to be addressed. Bone spurs are often documented to help assess the severity of a condition such as arthritis.

Shade
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: Cari on July 09, 2005, 03:05:03 AM
I had a Fulkerson TTT and 7 months later I had the screws removed. * months after that the pain was even worse and an emergency MRI and Bone Scan showed that there were a few rather large bone spurs formed at the site where my screws use to be. My OS does not fill the screw holes once the screws are removed as he lets them heal naturally. My screw holes aparantly went "haywire" and the bone material was continuing to form and pile up as if there was much larger screw holes to fill. He removed the bone spurs a week later and he told me based on where they were they HAD TO come out.  A relatively minor procedure it was but, the bone became so fragile I was baned from full weight bearing and made to use crutches for 4 weeks so there would be no chance of fracture.

My OS said many people have bone spurs and don't even know it becasue they have no symptoms of any pain or problems happening !

Cari
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: costumer on May 07, 2007, 03:03:55 AM
Bone spurs are extra development of bone tissue - often shaped like a hook, or a beak, something that pokes out a bit. Commonly you hear about people having bone spurs on their heel which hurts a lot because you're stepping on them. Vertebrae can grow them too (my mom was told she had one you could hang a towel on!) But as you all know, your knees can also get them. Mine have tripled in size since March <sigh>.

They used to take them out, but current opinion is that they are simply part of arthritis - an indicator. Unless a spur is causing actual damage they usually don't bother with them since they can grow back (so what's the point?). If it's digging a hole in the patella, that's a problem. If it's poking a nerve, that's a problem. If you fall on it and it breaks off... that can be a problem if it gets stuck in the joint.  If it's sticking out into space, that's not a problem and they don't care that you can actually feel it through the skin.

Mostly they notice them and then ignore them.

     -Judy
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: hugo on April 28, 2008, 07:06:21 PM
A+ thread... I had an idea of what spurs are, but this thread clarified it for me.

I apparently have some spurs, probably due to my lack of cartilage and damage...
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: chrisMancini on September 15, 2008, 08:40:19 PM
I have had TKA in May 2008. A month Post Op I felt a hard nodule on the lateral; side of my knee.. painful. OS thought it was a nerve or tissue bundle. I had an Xray to chekc the joint last week and it revealed a 3/4'' by 1" bone fragment. My OS said it was an osteophyte. Has anyone whose had TKA or PKA ever had this?
thanks
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: digginit on December 13, 2008, 11:47:45 PM
Chris that osteophyte was there before your surgery.  They'll clip off all the osteophytes and rough edges during your surgery that affect your TKA, but people with OA have osteophytes...it's just part of it...and they wouldn't try to clean all of 'em out during your TKA.  I don't see them developing after surgery, and certainly not within a month of surgery.

~dig
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: kneepain57 on September 17, 2009, 03:45:35 PM
i have bone spurs in my right knee. i didn't know that they could be removed. when the dr. told me just what they were, and nothing more. now i'm having a bit of locking and pain in rt. knee.it can be very painful and it's unexpected when it decides to act up. i haven't any cartilage in my rt. knee and have arthritis in that knee. should i see someone else? i'm not getting any help for the pain.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: WyrDachs on April 15, 2010, 11:30:21 PM
 I find it really amazing that they remove the spurs thru arthoscopy.  I felt the same like you, knee would lock up and I had knee pain.  I had surgery last Friday (4/9/2010).  I had the recheck today, everything looks good and the stitches were removed and I can stop using the crutches.  Monday I start P/T.   The Doc suggested that I take the painkiller an hour before P/T.  I hope I can eventually stop limping.

I'm getting my LK repaired in June, same reason.  To be honest, I'm looking for to doing it and getting on with my life and hopefully pain free. 

This will be the 2nd repair on this knee (R) and in June it will be the 2nd for the other (LK).
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: skierboy on May 09, 2011, 08:52:38 PM
Bone spurs are apparently most pronounced in people who have had partial or full knee replacements.  Once the ends of the femur and tibia are removed and the new knee device is installed, the bones go crazy trying to set things right again.  But if they do not interfere with remaining ligaments, etc. they are not a practical problem.

After a microfracture on the lateral side of my left knee I developed several osteophytes.  Only one of these gives me any problem.  It is on the lateral side and occasionally "twangs" a ligament or tendon that must pass over it when I bend my knee (mostly when I straighted out the leg).  As a result, I've learned to never straighten my leg when I'm on my right side and my left leg is elevated a bit.  Guaranteed !00% twang possibility with accompanying sharp pain.  It's remarkable how one can change one's movement habits almost instinctively in order to avoid future pain events.

My surgeon is not inclined to remove the spur out of concern that the new fiberous cartilage might be damaged at the same time.  So for the present I'm living with the spur.  If I ever need additional work on that knee, the spur will GO.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: tibialpatient on May 09, 2011, 09:35:50 PM
I am not a doctor, but I just had tibial osteotomy (okay 10 weeks ago) because the inner portion of my knee is pretty much bone on bone due to some bowed legs and a lot of sports. 

When looking at the x-ray, you see what look like bone spurs that come just off the bone where the joint meets.  Doctor said that his is typical when two bones hit as it is a function of the bones hitting and looks kind of like the bone has literally been squeezed out and formed a little ridge around the joint.  He said that the tendons can catch on the spurs when they move causing irritation.

Once the problem is corrected, these spurs can go away as long as they are not hitting anymore.  We'll see.  Only 10 weeks into it and still have the external fixator.

My two non-doctor cents.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: cjmcdontruckin on August 09, 2011, 02:45:14 AM
i have bone spurs in my right knee. i didn't know that they could be removed. when the dr. told me just what they were, and nothing more. now i'm having a bit of locking and pain in rt. knee.it can be very painful and it's unexpected when it decides to act up. i haven't any cartilage in my rt. knee and have arthritis in that knee. should i see someone else? i'm not getting any help for the pain.

I have the same promblem. I had to doctors tell me that i have them in my knee. I went to another doctor hoping they will just take them out but he is telling me that i dont have them and that its something else. It hurts when i bend my knee and i have allot of swelling. Myself Im tired of the pain the shots and physical thearpy. I dont know what to think or what to do because evry doctor is different and always want to try something that has already been tried. I just want them out and want to quit hurting. I gotta go to physical thearpy so im gonna try what he says and if it doesnt work im gonna tell him straight up hes gotta do something different.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: skierboy on August 29, 2011, 10:57:20 PM
An update to my May 9, 2011 post on this topic.   A friend of mine who has different knee issues recently recommended aqua jogging as something that really strengthens the leg muscles w/o the pounding pain that comes from regular walking or running.  I tried it in the pool (it requires you wearing a flotation belt).  For the first several minutes I had a problem because periodically a tendon on the lateral side of my left knee would would catch when riding over the bone spur I described in my earlier posting.  That's a very uncomfortable feeling, and I thought I'd have to stop the aqua jogging.

Then the "twanging" went away!  I don't know whether I simply wore down the bond spur over time and repeated abration of the tendon against the spur or whether something else happened.  I suspect the former.  But since that day, I have had no real instances of the tendon being "caught" by the bone spur.  I periodically still feel the tendon rub over the spur, but it does not catch the way it did earlier.  My my orthopedic surgeon apparently was right about NOT going in to surgically remove such spurs (as a general rule).

I've only done aqua jogging once or twice since the first time, but I have never had the major bone spur issue return.  Se at least this is a "positive" development in my growing history of knee problems.
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: HerbM on September 22, 2014, 09:02:47 PM
This is an old thread but worth of rehabilitation AND now there are numerous YouTube videos of both Hip and Knee replacements showing actual removal of Ostephytes (or bone spurs.)

If you are curious you can watch such surgeries (sorry, watched so many can't recall WHICH show this the clearest but most full surgeries do show it) or search for these words:

Osteotome and Rongeur

Osteotome are basically chisels (from osteo = bone + tome = cut).

The Rongeur (from French for "gnaw") used for osteophytes in many surgery videos looks (to me) like a pair of large channel locks or large vise grip with a nipper (instead of clamp jaws) on the end.

(Rongeurs are used for other surgical purposes and may differ in design.)

https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&biw=1233&bih=631&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=Rongeur+surgery+|+instrument+hip+osteophyte&oq=Rongeur+surgery+|+instrument+hip+osteophyte&gs_l=img.3...34546.45373.0.45853.11.10.1.0.0.0.468.1562.0j1j1j2j1.5.0....0...1c.1.53.img..11.0.0.jHzvrQ9fono (https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&biw=1233&bih=631&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=Rongeur+surgery+|+instrument+hip+osteophyte&oq=Rongeur+surgery+|+instrument+hip+osteophyte&gs_l=img.3...34546.45373.0.45853.11.10.1.0.0.0.468.1562.0j1j1j2j1.5.0....0...1c.1.53.img..11.0.0.jHzvrQ9fono)
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: goldfish77 on January 22, 2017, 05:47:56 AM
I developed a bone spur on my femur as a result of a football injury.  I was operated on in 1982, the spur had torn through the cartilage and was rubbing on the patella.  This was before they used arthroscopes so they cut off the bottom of my knee cap and took out most of my cartilage.  My knee was scoped in 1987 to remove scar tissue.  I developed patellarfemural syndrome  and tendonitis as a result.  lots of ice and more recently electric stimulation have kept me playing hockey all these years.  Also I need electric stimulation to drive any distances, before estim  I had to stop once an hour to stretch mt knee
Title: Re: What are bone spurs in the knee?
Post by: Clarkey on January 23, 2017, 03:40:44 PM
I think it a common condition to have after knee surgery for bone spurs to appear that's best left alone unless it is causing rubbing and friction that's having a negative impact on the mechanics of the knee. A bone spur has also been picked up on my last MRI scan that was done in December 2015.

On further evaluation of the MRI one may appreciate a slightly bigger distal pole of the patella with a bone spur which may be affecting the fat pad, however the signal of the tendon is normal. In addition Professor Snow was a little concerned about developing of patella Baja after surgery.

Nearly 14 months later I am having another MRI scan of my right knee this coming Friday 27th January that I am hoping picks up new problems. Will find out if the bone spur is the cause to my current right knee pain and discomfort I am experiencing right now. If it is then it might need removing taking a risk in the hope I will be 3rd time lucky with scope #3! This is now looking likely to happen after all PT and conservative treatments have not improved the knee pain with limited mobility.

Here is a good link about the symptoms the causes of bone spurs and how to go about getting it treated none invasively before opting for surgery.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bone-spurs/basics/symptoms/con-20024478

Good luck to any members trying to sort out their bone spurs.

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