Luis Ayala of the Washington Nationals has been scheduled to undergo surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow. The will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yokum next week. Ayala’s bone spur lead to a decrease in his pitching velocity, control and statistics.
What is a bone spur?
- A bone spur is a another term for osteophytes. They are bony growths that occur around joints in your body. You typically see bone spurs in the feet, arms, legs and back.
What causes bone spurs?
- Bone spurs form as a way for your body to help fight another underlying problem such as arthritis. The body tries to create these bone spurs in joints that are damaged to help distribute the weight and force on the joints. While a good idea in theory, the bone spur gets in the way of the joint and can actually cause a further loss of mobility and even more pain.
Why are bone spurs bad?
- As noted above, they can restrict mobility and are painful. The real reason bone spurs are bad is that they are indicative of a larger problem.
What are some treatments for bone spurs?
- There is no specific treatment for bone spurs. In most cases, treating the underlying issue will extend mobility and free the patient from pain. In some cases, though, the bone spur can be removed. For instance, in Ayala’s case the bone spur is in his elbow, which makes it easy to remove. If the bone spur were on the spine surgery wouldn’t be an option.