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Osteoarthritis - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Sudden, unexplained swelling, warmth, or pain in any joint.
  • Joint pain with a fever or rash.
  • Pain so bad that you can't use your joint.
  • Mild joint symptoms that last more than 6 weeks and don't get better with home treatment.
  • Side effects from pain medicine. You can have side effects when you take large doses of pain medicine. Do not take more than the recommended dose of medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Watchful waiting

If you have mild joint pain and stiffness, first try home treatment, such as using ice and heat. If you don't feel better in 6 weeks, or if you have other symptoms, call your doctor.

Who to see

Arthritis can be managed by:

Other health professionals may be part of the treatment team, such as:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 17, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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