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Bone Spurs (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Bone Spurs

If you are having problems with increased pain in your joints or loss of motion, you may have bone spurs. Other conditions can also cause these symptoms. If these symptoms cause pain that you are not able to tolerate, you should seek medical care to have it evaluated.

Diagnosis of Bone Spurs

A doctor will likely begin with a medical history and physical examination. The medical history is a series of questions about someone's condition and a review of any other medical problems. The physical examination will include testing the joints that are affected to determine how much motion an individual has, how much pain one experiences with motion, and a check of muscle strength.

Based on the results of the medical history and physical, a physician may recommend obtaining imaging studies to diagnose bone spurs. This often starts with plain radiographs (X-rays). These are typically able to show if bone spurs have formed and if the joint is affected. If there is a question of possible tear of a tendon such as a rotator cuff tear, an MRI may be ordered. An MRI or CT scan may also be ordered in the spine to assess for possible nerve or spinal cord compression.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2015

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