Bone spurs are known as osteophytes. Osteophytes occur as a result of osteoarthritic changes. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) does not cause osteophytes. RA usually polishes the end of long bones. When the physician looks at an x-ray, an indicator of osteoarthritis is the presence of bone spurs along the margins of the joint. Osteophytes are a normal occurrence with osteoarthritis.