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Avascular Necrosis Diagnosis

To reach an avascular necrosis diagnosis, the doctor will perform a complete physical examination and ask about the patient's medical history. Then, diagnosing avascular necrosis may involve various tests, such as magnetic resonating imaging (MRI), bone scans, x-rays, and biopsies. As with many other diseases, an early avascular necrosis diagnosis increases the chances of a successful treatment.

 

Avascular Necrosis Diagnosis: An Introduction

After performing a complete physical examination and asking about the patient's medical history (for example, what health problems the patient has had and for how long), the doctor may use one or more imaging techniques to make an avascular necrosis diagnosis. As with many other diseases, an early avascular necrosis diagnosis increases the chances of successful treatment.
 

Tests for Diagnosing Avascular Necrosis

Tests used to make an avascular necrosis diagnosis determine the amount of bone affected and how far the disease has progressed. These tests include:
 
  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Bone scan
  • Computed tomography (CT scan)
  • Biopsy
  • Functional evaluation of bone.
     
X-Ray
An x-ray is a common tool that the doctor may use to help diagnose avascular necrosis. It is a simple way to produce pictures of bones, and can reveal many causes of joint pain, such as a fracture or arthritis. The x-ray of a person with early avascular necrosis is likely to be normal, because x-rays are not sensitive enough to detect the bone changes in the early stages of the disease. X-rays can show bone damage in the later stages, however, and once the diagnosis is made, they are often used to monitor the course of the condition. If the x-ray is normal, the patient may need to have more tests.
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Avascular Necrosis Information

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