Orthopaedics Q&A: Remedy for osteophyte

Orthopaedics expert, Dr VV Prasad answers readers’ questions on bone health. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Monday.

This week’s answers:

Hello Sir,

My husband, 44 yrs old has been diagnosed for :

* Multilevel small marginal osteophytes and Schmorl’s nodes in lower dorsal and lumbar spine.
* Diffuse bulge with posterior annular tear and a posterocentral extrusion of L3-4 disc. There is mild inferior migration of the extruded disc material carusing sac and contained nerve roots.

As per the above diagnosis, our orthopaedic has recommended a minor surgery to free the nerves by removing some part of the bone. Is it alright? Please advice.

Thanks.
geeta kumar

As per the diagnosis he needs surgery. practically speaking if he is not having any pain or neurological symptoms such as numbness or leg pain he can wait. moreover the diagnosis also suggests that these are age related changes. so even after surgery he might have a little pain if he strains too much. FINALLY: if the pain is severe and not settling with pain killers or physio then go for surgery. if there is only a little pain then wait and watch for some time.

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