Do you 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 four steps to making a diagnosis of OA:
- Medical history. This is your doctor’s best tool to diagnosing 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 joint swelling or tenderness, and a loss in the range of joint motion.
- Joint fluid sample. After applying a local anesthetic, your doctor may take a small amount of fluid from your joint, called synovial fluid. 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 tissue that is typical of OA.