In most cases, your doctor can
tell you if you have
osteoarthritis and recommend treatment based on your
symptoms and by doing a
physical exam. Your doctor may also do some
other tests to be sure that the diagnosis is correct or to rule out other
other conditions that have similar symptoms.
These tests may
A joint fluid
study. A sample of the fluid that
cushions the joint is removed and sent to the lab to look for the cause of
joint pain and swelling.
X-rays. Pictures of the bones in a joint, such as the
or knee, are taken to look for cartilage
An arthroscopy. A thin, lighted tube called an arthroscope
is placed inside a small cut made near the joint. The doctor uses the scope to
look for problems on the surfaces of the joint and the soft tissues that
surround it. This test is not done very often.