Bone spurs, or osteophytes, result when bone formation occurs beyond the regular limits of the skeletal system. These micro-regions are characterized by an accumulation of calcium, and are usually associated with stress or inflammation in the major joints of the body. Bone spurs are most prevalent in the neck, shoulders, spine, knees, and feet, but can be found in other areas as well.
In the knee, osteophyte development is closely associated with a loss of articular cartilage, which normally covers the inner joint surfaces and facilitates movement. Such loss often correlates with the body’s decreased ability to repair and regenerate cartilage with increased age. Additional pressures such as obesity, extreme activities, and misalignment also wear down the articular cartilage, and promote spur formation.