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Path to Dysphagia Diagnosis
  • Writer's pictureCarinda Stout, MS CCC/SLP

Bone Spur: A Closer Look

A bone spur, also called an osteophyte, is a smooth, bony lump that grows off a bone. Bone spurs develop over long periods of time, usually near joints (where two or more bones meet). Bone spurs are most common in people 60 years or older. People with osteoarthritis (OA) are much more likely to get bone spurs.

Dysphagia related to cervical osteophytes are rare but related to the impingement of the osteophyte on the upper oesophagus, causing narrowing, and inflammation of surrounding tissue. Common symptoms:

  • Globus and/ or discomfort when swallowing

  • Food or liquids getting stuck in your throat

  • Coughing or choking while swallowing

  • A wet ‘gurgly’ sounding voice

Possible treatment includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling and discomfort in the throat

  • Dietary and/or swallowing modifications

  • Surgical intervention

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