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osteophyte formation
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osteophyte formation

I will make this short because I have posted other questions here before. I had a cervical MRI in March 1998 which showed minimal disc bulging or osteophyte formation at the C5-C6 level. The doctors said that there was really nothing to be concerned about. However my symptoms have gotten worse and I'm having difficulty raising my left arm over my head. I also get pain going down my left arm with tingling in my hand and last two fingers.

My question is what is osteophyte formations? What causes them? And also, what can be done to relieve these symptoms? Could this also cause headaches in the back of my head?

Thank you so much for your time. This service has been a lot of help to me in the past.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Kelly:

Osteophyte formations are where there is boney deposits within the spinal bone.  These usually occur around the neuronal foramen when they present problems.  They can also occur on the external ridges of the vertebrae.  The deposition of boney material can be from immune reactions arising from a systemic disease such as osteoarthritis, use that induces wear and tear on the spinal column, infections of the spine, autoimmune processes such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis.  Anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the build-up of new boney formation and surgery can remove old already formed osteophytes.  The location of your osteophytes would not cause your headaches per se.  The C5-C6 areas mostly go to the arms as part of the brachial plexus.  

CCF Neuro MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a M.V.C. in 04/98 and injured my right hip.  Speed in the car was approx. 50 mph before being broad sided by another vehicle.  Have had numerous tests, and besides being diagnosed with the regular neck/back pain/spasms etc., there seems to be no other reason for my right hip to be giving me such extreme pain other than the supposed muscle/ligament/tendon strains, etc...
My greatest trouble is sitting, my right S.I. joint is tender to touch of course, but the bone in my buttock that I sit on has given me ongoing pain that anti-inflammatories, steroid injections, pain killers, massage therapy and physiotherapy, have not been successful in treating.  So far the bone scan has not shown anything.  One specialist thought it might be the bursa sac (not sure on the spelling, that might be inflamed and giving me trouble, all I know is that I've done everything possible and continue to work in pain, and nothing seems to be helping.  More recently, a massage therapist thought that the muscle in the buttock area was fine but could feel a lump, she thought it might be an osteophyte from the injury.  Currently, I have given up sleeping on my right side, the S.I. joint is tender and the bone in my buttock feels like it is swollen and not cushioned, like I am sitting on a rock.  As I continue to favour my left side, it too is staring to give me trouble, and my hips are starting to curve more to one side than the other because of the leaning to avoid pain.  Is there any hope for me and do you have any suggestions?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Tigger:

When you alter your gait, you create excess stress on the unnatural walking and standing position can you can do damage to your muscle-skeleton system.  Since you describe that you have tried so many things, I am not sure what else to add.  Feeling lumps is not the same as seeing an osteophyte on MRI.  If your MRI did not show one, then I would tend to believe that there isn't one, for if one could feel it (I have never felt an osteophyte) then one should definitely see one.  What has your neurologist told you?  What about your rehab specialist and PT?  I would get their input.

Sorry, I am not much of a help.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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Just recently I began having a numbing sensation running down my entire left arm to my fingertips.  In December after a trip to California I thought I had strained a muscle or nerve in my arm from all the suitcases I had been carrying.  My second thought was that I was developing carpel tunnel syndrome (sorry about the spelling), for the last 3 months I have been using the computer approximately 2 hrs. a day since we are in the process of adopting a baby from China...however after an xray last week my doctor called to say that I have an osteophyte on my 5th & 6th vertabre.  Tomorrow is my first appointment with a physical therapist, I'm scared and worried about our approaching trip to China to get our baby.  Can this condition be imporved with excercise? Also can you tell me if this has anything to do with osteoprosis?? I take mulitvitamins and calcium supplements and do  exercise and eat healthy what am I doing wrong?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Sharon:

Osteophyte formation can arise from a number of reasons, such as osteoarthritis, movement of the vertebrae, rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, aging, etc.  If the osteophyte impinges on the nerve then it can cause peripheral nerve problems.  It depends how bad the osteophyte formation and the location.  This may or may not be your problem.  It there is irritiation of the nerve, then rehab might be beneficial.  If the osteophyte formation does not impact the nerve (would likely see on MRI) then there might be another problem.  Ask your neurologist.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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