Think you have osteoarthritis (OA)?
Don’t wait. It’s very important that you see a doctor, get a proper diagnosis, and start treatment right away.
How is OA diagnosed?
There are usually 4 steps to making a diagnosis of OA:
- Medical history: This is your doctor’s best tool to diagnose OA. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, family history, and past medical conditions.
- Physical exam: Your doctor will look for typical signs of OA, such as swelling, tenderness, and loss of motion.
- Joint fluid sample: After applying a local anesthetic, your doctor will take a small amount of fluid from your joint. A lab test of this fluid can help confirm OA and rule out other conditions.
- X-rays or MRIs: These images can show damage inside the joint. Your doctor will be looking for the deterioration of cartilage that is typical of OA.