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.