Diagnosis

Doctors can often diagnose bursitis based on a medical history and physical exam. Testing, if needed, might include:

  • Imaging tests. X-ray images can't positively establish the diagnosis of bursitis, but they can help to exclude other causes of your discomfort. Ultrasound or MRI might be used if your bursitis can't easily be diagnosed by a physical exam alone.
  • Lab tests. Your doctor might order blood tests or an analysis of fluid from the inflamed bursa to pinpoint the cause of your joint inflammation and pain.