Even though a lot of people might never have heard the term exostosis before, it’s something that most people are familiar with – and something that a great deal of the population is likely to experience in their lifetime. The other name for exostosis is a bone spur, which is the name that most people know it by.
Bone spurs are usually small, non-cancerous growths that happen on top of the existing bone. They are usually caused by repeated irritation of the bone, for example by rubbing against it with a shoe while walking – or by pressing a pen against it for a ten or twenty-year career.
In the majority of cases, bone spurs aren’t dangerous by themselves, but they can cause a lot of associated pain and discomfort and might need to be removed when they start to become impairing in any way.
Here are 8 known causes of exostosis that you should know about.
1. Irritation by Wind
Bone spurs can occur anywhere in the body where there are already existing bones, usually in any area that gets repeatedly irritated, rubbed, affected or touched. This means that they can occur almost anywhere in the body, including on the arms, fingers, legs – and even inside of the mouth and ears.
When bone spurs happen in the ears, it can be referred to as “surfer’s ear” because of the fact that it tends to happen to surfers. It’s also considered a very common type of physical injury for people who spend a lot of time on yachts or boats, or in areas where they are exposed to vast amounts of wind blowing directly into the ear canal – which is what acts as the irritant that causes the bone spur in the first place.
Exostosis in the ear can lead to pain, discomfort and problems with balance as well as repeated ear infections.