Diagnosing arthritis requires doctors to gather information on details including personal and family medical history. They have to perform a physical examination and recommend diagnostic tests.
The report needed to help diagnose osteoarthritis should have the following information:
Description of symptoms, details about how and when the pain and symptoms began, other medical problems that exist, location of pain, symptoms, and stiffness, how the symptoms affect your routine, and the medication prescribed.
During this procedure, the medical practitioner will examine your joints and test their range of motion; how well it moves. All the more, he will check the area that is tender, swollen, or painful and shows signs of joint damage. The doctor will take a careful look at the position and alignment of your spine and neck.
Osteoarthritis is suspected to happen to a person after physical examination is conducted. Plus, his/her medical history is taken into consideration. Blood tests are not used to make diagnosis in this case. But the following tests can help confirm:
MRI – MRI is less affordable than an X-ray but it doesn’t involve radiation. All the more, it provides a view that offers better images of cartilage and other structures to identify early abnormalities that are typical in osteoarthritis.
X-Ray – An x-ray is quite affordable and shows the damage and other changes associated with osteoarthritis to confirm the diagnosis.
Joint Aspiration – The doctor will numb the area and withdraw fluid from the affected joint through a needle. It will be examined for presence of crystals or joint deterioration. This test will confirm if there is any other medical conditions or other form of arthritis.