All Bone and Joint Tests

Aside from your medical history, bone and joint lab tests can help your doctor to diagnose if you have any bone or joint conditions. Here are some of the laboratory tests that you can undergo:


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The Bone-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (BSAP) assay provides a general index of bone formation and a specific index of total osteoblast activity. BSAP and osteocalcin are the most effective markers of bone formation and are particularly useful for monitoring bone formation therapies and antiresorptive therapies.

DC - Bone Health Panel

Dr. Weatherby’s  Additional biomarkers for Bone Health Evaluation -  Use with Blood Chemistry Analysis Standard Panel.


Measurement of serum 25-OH vitamin D concentrations provide a good index of circulating vitamin D activity in patients not suffering from renal disease. Lower than normal 25-OH vitamin D levels can result from a dietary deficiency, poor absorption of the vitamin or impaired metabolism of the sterol in the liver. A 25-OH vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia. Above normal levels can lead hypercalcemia. This assay employs liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to independently measure and report the two common forms of 25-hydroxy vitamin D: 25OH D3 - the endogenous form of the vitamin and 25OH D2 - the analog form used to treat 25OH Vitamin D3 deficiency.

This test is used to measure the bio-active form of Vitamin D. This test is also used in the differential diagnosis of hypocalcemia and to monitor patients with renal osteodystrophy or chronic renal failure.

Increased CRP levels are found in inflammatory conditions including: bacterial infection, rheumatic fever, active arthritis, myocardial infarction, malignancies and in the post-operative state. This test cannot detect the relatively small elevations of CRP that are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

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Serum calcium is involved in the regulation of neuromuscular and enzyme activity, bone metabolism and blood coagulation. Calcium blood levels are controlled by a complex interaction of parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, calcitonin and adrenal cortical steroids. Calcium measurements are useful in the diagnosis of parathyroid disease, some bone disorders and chronic renal disease. A low level of calcium may result in tetany.

Urinary calcium reflects dietary intake, rate of calcium absorption by the intestine and bone resorption. Urinary calcium is used primarily to evaluate parathyroid function and the effects of vitamin D. A significant number of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism will have elevated urinary calcium. However, there are other clinical entities that may be associated with increased urine calcium: Sarcoidosis, Paget's disease of bone, vitamin D intoxication, hyperthyroidism and glucocorticoid excess. Decreased urine calcium is seen with thiazide diuretics, vitamin D deficiency and familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia.


Comprehensive Metabolic Panel


A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia, and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

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Elevated RF is found in collagen vascular diseases such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjögren's Syndrome, and in other conditions such as leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis, malignancy, thyroid disease and in a significant percentage of otherwise normal elderly patients.

NTx is useful to assess bone resorption in patients with metabolic bone disease and monitor therapy to slow or halt osteoporotic bone loss. A decline of 30% or more of NTx over a six-month period suggests effective therapy.

NTx is useful to assess bone resorption in patients with metabolic bone disease. The test is also useful in monitoring therapy to slow or halt osteoporotic bone loss. A decline of 30% or more of NTx over a six-month period suggests effective therapy.

CTx is useful to assess bone resorption in patients with metabolic bone disease. The test is also useful in monitoring therapy to slow or halt osteoporotic bone loss.

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Measuring the circulating levels of estradiol is important for assessing the ovarian function and monitoring follicular development for assisted reproduction protocols. Estradiol plays an essential role throughout the human menstrual cycle. Elevated estradiol levels in females may also result from primary or secondary ovarian hyperfunction. Very high estradiol levels are found during the induction of ovulation for assisted reproduction therapy or in pregnancy. Decreased estradiol levels in females may result from either lack of ovarian synthesis (primary ovarian hypofunction and menopause) or a lesion in the hypothalamus-pituitary axis (secondary ovarian hypofunction). Elevated estradiol levels in males may be due to increased aromatization of androgens, resulting in gynecomastia.

IMPORTANT - Note this Estradiol test is not for children that have yet to start their menstrual cycle.  If this test is ordered for a child that has yet to begin their menstrual cycle Quest Diagnostics labs will substitute in Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS - #30289 at an additional charge of $34


Helpful in assessing testicular function in prepubescent hypogonadal males and in managing hirsutism, virilization in females

This is an uncapped test. Reference ranges above 1100 ng/dL can be reported with a quantitative result.


Helpful in assessing testicular function in males and managing hirsutism, virilization in females.

Testosterone circulates almost entirely bound to transport proteins: normally less than 1% is free. Measurement of Free Testosterone may be useful when disturbances in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) are suspected such as when patients are obese or have excessive estrogen. Testosterone measurements are used to assess erectile dysfunction, infertility, gynecomastia, and osteoporosis and to assess hormone replacement therapy.


This test is useful in the differential diagnosis of male hypogonadism. For males 18 years of age and older only. Pediatric and Female patients will need to order Testosterone, Total, MS #15983.

Due to changes in testosterone levels throughout the day, two morning (8:00-10:00 a.m.) specimens obtained on different days are recommended by The Endocrine Society for screening.

Please note: If Testosterone, Total, Males (Adult) Only #873 is ordered for a pediatric or female patient, the lab will automatically change the test to and charge for Testosterone, Total, MS #15983.

This test can report a value up to 3000 ng/dL. any number >3000 will be stated as >3000.


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For diagnosis of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Note: Free T4 Index (T7) will only be calculated and reported if test code code 861 (T3 Uptake) is ordered as well.



Serum iron quantification is useful in confirming the diagnosis of iron-deficiency anemia or hemochromatosis. The measurement of total iron binding in the same specimen may facilitate the clinician''s ability to distinguish between low serum iron levels caused by iron deficiency from those related to inflammatory neoplastic disorders. The assay for iron measures the amount of iron which is bound to transferrin. The total iron binding capacity (TIBC) measures the amount of iron that would appear in blood if all the transferrin were saturated with iron. It is an indirect measurement of transferri

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Measurement of the levels of bilirubin is used in the diagnosis and treatment of liver, hemolytic, hematologic, and metabolic disorders, including hepatitis and gall bladder obstruction. The assessment of direct bilirubin is helpful in the differentiation of hepatic disorders. The increase in total bilirubin associated with obstructive jaundice is primarily due to the direct (conjugated) fraction. Both direct and indirect bilirubin are increased in the serum with hepatitis.

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Cortisol is increased in Cushing's Disease and decreased in Addison's Disease (adrenal insufficiency). Patient needs to have the specimen collected between 7 a.m.-9 a.m.


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Cortisol is increased in Cushing's Disease and decreased in Addison's Disease (adrenal insufficiency).


Bones and joints play an integral role in the body. The bones provide a solid framework, and the joints and fluid in the joints work to keep the body mobile while working together with the soft tissue and muscles. Working together, they support the weight of the body.  

Unfortunately, the bones and joints may become weak. Let's examine some of the reasons that the bones and joints may become weak and the various reasons that may cause them to become weak.  

Afterwards, we'll learn why and how lab testing can help keep the joints, bones, and nervous system in peak condition.  

Factors That Affect Bones and Joints 

  • Aging - Over time, aging can lead to gradual weakening and deterioration of the bones and joints. 
  • Injury - Bones and or joints may become injured due to overexertion or an accident. 
  • Hereditary Factors - Genetic predisposition can cause the bones and joints to be more susceptible to many bone and joint conditions. 

Conditions Impacting Bones and Joints 

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, some health conditions may impact the bones and joints. There may be skin diseases as well. 

  • Osteoporosis - When bone mineral density and bone mass are gradually reduced, osteoporosis is the outcome. 
  • Scoliosis - Scoliosis produces a side curve of the spinal column. 
  • Paget's Disease - This is a bone disorder that causes bones to grow bigger and weaken. 
  • Osteopetrosis - A rare disorder giving rise to abnormal bone growth and bone density. 
  • Tendonitis - Brought on via repetitive injuries to tendons. 
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA. - An immune system malfunction causes the body to attack the linings of the joints mistakenly. It's an inflammatory kind of arthritis. 

Signs And Symptoms of Joint and Bone Conditions 

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of joint and bone conditions:  

  • Brittle, weak bones 
  • Joint pain 
  • Bones that are deformed 
  • Inflammation in joints 
  • Pain in bones 
  • C or S-shaped spinal curves 

Lab Tests for Joints and Bones 

Other than a complete medical history, a lab test can help a doctor diagnose bones and joints issues. Here are a few of the lab tests that can be given: 

Blood Tests: These can measure a variety of components in the blood. Helpful in detecting rheumatoid arthritis as well as other joint and bone disorders.  

Functional Lab Panels for Bone and Joint Tests 

X-Rays: Imagery testing can point out abnormalities. 

  • CT or Computed Tomography and MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging - These are also imagery tests that can offer a more detailed image giving more details on bone and joint structure than an X-ray can show.  

FAQs On Bone and Joint Lab Tests 

Which lab tests are done for bone and joint disorders? 

Bone and joint disorders can be diagnosed via various tests such as X-rays, CT scans, an MRI, evaluations of bones, and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase testing

What Does a Bone Profile Blood Test Reveal? 

This test will reveal and measure proteins, enzymes, and minerals in bone turnover. They can potentially diagnose bone issues.  

Benefits Of Bone and Joint Lab Tests from Ulta Lab Tests 

Testing helps people stay on top of their health needs and manage and monitor their bone and joint health status. Lab tests from Ulta Lab Tests are easy and convenient to order and receive results. Once you have your results, please consult your healthcare provider to obtain their recommended next steps to improve or maintain your health.

Ulta Lab Tests offer highly accurate and reliable tests to help you make informed decisions about bones and joints' health issues.  

Benefits of using Ulta Lab Tests include: 

  • Confidential and secure results
  • No insurance referral required 
  • Affordable pricing
  • 100% guaranteed satisfaction 

Order your bone and joint health lab tests with Ulta Lab Tests