This is a complex topic. Bone spurs (osteophytes) that compress a nerve can be removed to reduce nerve pain in general. Why these spurs formed in the first place is the question that needs to be answered. If there is instability of that level, these spurs might have formed to stabilize the level. Removal could lead to vertebral instability.
There also could be a collapse of the vertebral level. The malalignment of the two vertebra might be the cause of the nerve compression (foraminal stenosis- see website) and the bone spurs are only there due to the collapse. The vertebra might need to be realigned with a fusion to decompress the nerves.
If these spurs are not related to those two conditions and are the cause of nerve compression, a simple decompression would be the surgery of choice.
PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.