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Question (12/11/2013):

Title: Osteophytes C5-C6.

There are bridging prevertebral osteophytes prominent at C4-5 and prominent non briging osteophytes C5-6. intervertebral disc space height is relatively preserved. There are small posterior osteophytes at C3-4. The odontoid tip is obscured on the odontoid view but visible on the AP view.

Vanessa

Answer:

Dear Vanessa,

Thank you very much for your question.

Osteophytes, commonly referred to as bone spurs or parrot beak, are bony projections that form along joint margins

Bone spurs represent an enlargement of the bony structure and are a sign of spinal degeneration (aging).

The majority of people over the age of 50 show some type of osteophytes upon radiographical examination. Most of these osteophytes, however, are without recognizable symptoms.

Cervical disc osteophyte complex originates in the vertebrae of the neck and is one form of cervical disc degeneration.

Cervical osteophytes, also called bone spurs in the neck or cervical spondylosis, is a common condition with aging and do not always generate pain in the neck region.

In most cases, when bone spurs cause nerve compression, conservative treatment will alleviate the symptoms. Pain medication and physical therapy are the two most prevalent methods of non-operative treatment. However, if debilitating chronic pain persists after at least six months of conservative treatment, a doctor might recommend surgery as an option.

Piezosurgery proved to be a useful and safe technique for selective bone cutting and removal of osteophytes with preservation of neuronal and soft tissue in ACDF(anterior cervical discectomy with fusion).

Anterior cervical osteophytes are common and usually asymptomatic in elderly people.

Anterior cervical osteophytes can be a possible etiological factor for paradoxical vocal cord motion that induces serious respiratory symptoms.



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