Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During a physical exam your doctor will likely press around your joints, checking for tenderness. Your doctor may also move the joints through a variety of positions to see if your range of motion has been reduced.

Imaging tests

Many disorders can cause joint pain. Imaging tests can help pinpoint the source of pain. The options include:

  • X-rays. They can reveal bone changes that occur in the later stages of avascular necrosis. In the condition's early stages, X-rays usually appear normal.
  • MRI and CT scan. These tests produce detailed images that can show early changes in bone that may indicate avascular necrosis.
  • Bone scan. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into your vein. This tracer travels to the parts of your bones that are injured or healing and shows up as bright spots on the imaging plate.
March 21, 2015

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