In the first article about the methods used to diagnose types of arthritis, we have provided information on rheumatoid arthritis. Today, it is continued by searching for a common form of arthritis – osteoarthritis.
To diagnose osteoarthritis, although there is no definitive test for osteoarthritis, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and collect personal information about medical and family history, such as your age; the level of joints pain and stiffness in the morning. And then, they can perform a physical examination and diagnostic tests required.
The physical examination
During the exam, the doctor will check the fit and test their range motion (how each joint moves through its full range). He will identify areas of procurement, pain or swelling, as well as signs of joint damage. The doctor will check the location and alignment of the neck and spine. Your doctor will evaluate:
- The Pain
- Range of motion section
- Muscle strength in affected areas
- The presence of any swelling or joint pain
- Gait (the way you walk) if arthritis is in the hip or knee
Check joints image
- X-ray: in X-ray images, the cartilage loss is revealed and the possibility of the movement of bone spurs around the joints.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): the detailed images of bone and soft tissue, and even cartilage are produced by using radio waves and a strong magnetic field. Unnecessary conventional MRI to diagnose osteoarthritis, but can help provide more information in the complicated case because it is very sensitive to changes in bone and soft tissues as the protocol for the base system bone is used. MRI can demonstrate proper reaction of bone or soft tissue swelling cartilage or bone, as well as small fragments in the joint.
- CT (computed tomography) is a great competition to prove the degree of osteophyte (bone spur) formation and its relationship to the surrounding soft tissue.
- Ultrasound is extremely sensitive to determine synovial cysts can form associated with osteoarthritis.
- Nuclear Medicine radioactive bone scan is very sensitive in detecting bone reactions associated with osteoarthritis. Bone scans can also image the entire skeleton of a test, so it may provide clinicians with useful information in patients who may have multiple areas that OA is present.
The findings in the lab
The test is useful in the diagnosis of arthritis because they usually normal.
- Blood tests. Blood test is usually used to diagnose osteoarthritis by distinguishing osteoarthritis among other types such as rheumatoid arthritis. Regular inspections such as the blood, urine, sedimentation rate (ESR), biochemistries, and specialized inspection as rheumatoid factor and antinuclear antibodies (ANA) is a simple utility to exclude other disease causing joint pain.
- Synovial fluid that is usually found in the joints. It helps nourish and lubricate the joints. It is often present in only very small amounts. But when arthritis is present, it changes the character and amount. Withdrawal of liquid can reduce swelling and pain. It also can help confirm the diagnosis of arthritis. When the synovial fluid is removed, it should be sent for culture, as well as checking the number of cells. In osteoarthritis, the white cell count (“pus cells”) is generally low and is a clear liquid (such as water); Higher counts should suggest arthritis or infection.