Spinal Bone Spurs Diagnosis
To diagnose a bone spur in the spine, you doctor will ask you a few questions about your pain and symptoms. Some examples of questions you can expect to be asked when investigating a possible bone spur include:
- When did your pain begin?
- What were you doing when you first noticed pain?
- Was the onset of your pain slow?
- Has the pain worsened progressively?
- Are there any activities that cause your pain to increase?
- Are there any activities that cause your pain to lessen?
Next, a physical examination will allow the doctor to measure your range of motion and any tenderness around the affected area. Your physician will also likely perform a small number of nerve sensation tests to measure your reflexes.
Diagnostic Tests for Bone Spurs
X-ray or CT scans are often enough to identify and diagnose a bone spur in the neck or back. However, If there is suspicion that it may be putting pressure on a spinal nerve, a myelogram with dye injection may be performed to better identify the affected nerve. If a nerve is being compressed due to a bone spur, diagnostic tests such as nerve injections of numbing agents may allow the doctor to pinpoint which nerve/s may be affected by your bone spur.