Disc Osteophyte Complex
July 21, 2019

You must have heard about various spinal diseases; but do you know what the Disc Osteophyte Complex is? It is a spinal ailment when bone spurs develop and affect the intervertebral disk or spinal vertebrae. Bone spurs, also referred to as osteophytes, grow in the musculoskeletal system. It is mainly caused due to regular wear and tear.

What are the Causes ?

You may suffer from Osteophyte Complex due to aging. Other reasons include deteriorating disc ailment like osteoarthritis, shock, trauma, injuries caused due to repetitive use, and overweight. However, it usually weakens your backbone. If you suffer from this condition, your body generates extra bony lumps. These lumps help strengthen the spine’s physical integrity or restrict its ability to move.

Also, some people may have bone spurs in their bodies but never experience pain. However, when the bony structure inhibits nervous activity, you may experience many painful symptoms.

What are the Functions of Intervertebral Disc?

Your backbone is walled by a protective spinal column formed of spines parted by discs. Hence, these discs have the following functions:

  • It shields the spinal canal
  • Works to absorb shock between vertebrae
  • Supports flexion movement of the backbone
  • It performs the ligamental and conjunction functions

How it Compresses Spinal Nerves?

You will suffer from Disc Osteophyte Complex when a sequence of bone limbs grows on multiple spines. It squashes your intervertebral discs and put pressure on the nerves or even the spinal canal. When the bony branches develop around your foramen, it narrows the channel leading to spinal stenosis.

What are the Symptoms?

When we talk about the symptoms of this spinal condition, we get to see that you may not experience any signs at the early stages. When the branches grow and comes in contact with the vertebrae or compress the nerve roots, you may experience pain. Hence, it may restrict your motion.

When you undergo nerve compression, you may experience:

– confined pain

– pain burning out to edges

– shock

– burning sensation

– or pin-and-needle feeling

It has been sporadic that this condition has led to the development of paralysis.

Also, this disorder has different variations. For instance, bony growths may develop in the neck region and cause:

– Headaches

– Dull neck ache

– Neck stiffness

– Burning pain in arms and shoulders

– Emotionlessness and tingling in arms

– Weakened Arms

Thoracic Osteophytes

Also known as mid-spine bony growths. These are rare.


  • Central Pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • Upper to mid spinal discomfort
  • Restricted movement of the thoracic spine
  • Backbone stiffness

Lumbar Osteophytes

Affects the lumbar back.


  • Restricted back movement
  • Backbone stiffness
  • Intense pain that gets worse with activity
  • Burning pain that travels through thighs and buttocks
  • Weakness and tingling sensation in legs

Cervical Osteophytes


  • Headaches
  • Neck discomfort and stiffness
  • Radiating ache in arms and shoulder region
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in arms
  • Arm Weakness

How to Diagnose Posterior Disc Osteophyte Complex?

If you are suffering from a posterior disc osteophyte complex, your medical doctor will ask questions about your family history. They may ask if your parents or ancestors had osteoarthritis. Therefore, your medical history will help the physician examine the spinal regions for any inflammation or tenderness. It can be detected through palpation.

And if your physician thinks you have a disc osteophyte complex, they may suggest radiological tests like x-rays and MRI scans. Hence, it will allow your physician to examine the internal structures. They will also be able to verify the growth of bony limbs disturbing the nerves.

What are the Disc Osteophyte Complex Treatments?

After your doctor has successfully diagnosed the issue, they may recommend you a conventional non-surgical treatment. However, your first course of treatment may include one or a combination of:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
  • Corticosteroid Injections
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
  • Ice to Reduce Swelling
  • Chiropractic Manipulation
  • Stretching Exercises, Such as Yoga

However, if your signs and symptoms last for more than three months, your doctor may recommend surgery. Previously, the only solution for this problem was backbone surgery that conventionally consisted of hospitalization and long recovery periods.

Some of the pioneering spinal surgical procedures to treat this condition include:

  • Foraminotomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Resection of Osteophytes


If you are examined right after you encounter a traumatic event, and you may not have disc-osteophyte complexes. Hence, if you have, it is a pre-existing condition.

Your bone edges and fuses in severe cases damage the disc and spine. As the disc junction heals, bone growths may form.

Osteophytes take at least a few weeks to develop after a traumatic event. When the growths compress nerves, you feel discomfort. If this is a former condition, your disc bulge may worsen after an accident. And your symptoms may worsen.

If you have developed intervertebral and ligament injuries, you may experience instability and extreme motion of the joints. It may lead to a trauma of the bone or ligament junctions. This continuing suffering causes overgrowth of bones as your body repeatedly undergoes episodes of healing and reinjury.

Hence, you must consult an expert at Premier Pain Centers for timely diagnosis and professional treatment.

Premier Pain Centers

Are you scared of surgery? Visit Premier Pain Centers to explore some safe and effective treatment alternatives. Our highly qualified professionals will closely examine your situation through x-rays or MRI and treat your symptoms. Contact us today for further information.

We are experts at treating bone spurs and a master at managing pain. Our pioneering and safe treatments will relieve discomfort and help you enjoy life.


Catogries: Back Pain | Blog

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