Q. I’ve recently been noticing some numbness in my legs, and my doctor said it may be caused by bone spurs. How are these treated?
A. There can be different causes for having numbness in the legs including diabetes, problems with blood flow, or arthritis in the spine. When you develop arthritis in the lower back, bone spurs can form and compress the nerves that go down into the legs. This can lead to lower back pain, as well as numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the legs. The initial treatments for this can include home exercises or physical therapy, as well as medications like anti-inflammatories or steroids. If these are not successful, a steroid injection can be given either in the lower back muscles or as an epidural injection under an X-ray machine into the spine. These help to reduce the swelling and inflammation in the nerves and reduce the symptoms. If easier treatments don’t give enough relief, surgery can be performed to remove the bone spurs and take the pressure off the nerves.