Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Bone Tenderness Overview

What is bone tenderness?
A person with bone tenderness suffers from pain when pressing on one or more bones. Bone tenderness is often accompanied by joint pain and bone pain. Bone tenderness may be caused by a variety of conditions such as overuse, injury, infection, inflammation, and cancer.

What symptoms can be associated with bone tenderness?
Bone tenderness that is due to an infection may be associated with fever, bone pain, and swelling overlying the painful bone. Other symptoms that can occur with bone tenderness include weakness, pale skin, swollen glands, excessive fatigue, and unintentional weight loss.

How does the doctor diagnose bone tenderness?
The doctor may suspect the underlying cause for bone tenderness after performing a medical history and physical examination. Testing is required to confirm the diagnosis. Tests often include CBC, ESR, alkaline phosphatase, kidney profile, blood cultures, and serum calcium. Other tests include bone x-rays, nuclear bone scan and MRI scanning of the bones. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy may be recommended in a smaller number of patients who are experiencing persistent bone tenderness.

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