Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects older adults (people over 50 years of age). Currently there is no definitive test to diagnose the condition and your doctor will take a complete medical history and do examination of your joints and muscles to diagnose the probable cause of your symptoms. Osteoarthritis is basically a clinical diagnosis and tests may be recommended only if your doctor wants to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis or a fractured bone.
[Read: What does Osteoarthritis mean?]
Osteoarthritis is suspected clinically if you:
[Read: Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis]
Medical history and physical examination: Your doctor may ask questions regarding location of the pain, time and pattern of the pain, stiffness of the joint and any other associated symptoms. Tests such as X-rays or blood tests, imaging studies, joint fluid analysis may be done if your doctor wants to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Imaging Studies: Your doctor may recommend imaging tests like x-rays (radiographs), MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans) or CT scan.
[Read: Treatment for Osteoarthritis]
Joint fluid analysis: Your doctor may take fluid from the affected joint in case the diagnosis is uncertain or if an infection is suspected.
Blood tests: Currently there are no blood tests or marker for this disease that can diagnose OA. Blood tests may be done if infection is suspected.
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