My apologies “Anonymous”, I must have misread the question after a long day.
Osteoarthritis is diagnoised through a history, examination and if necessary, investigation to determine if the person is suffering from this condition.
Signs that may help us to suspect osteoarthritis are:
- joint stiffness first thing in the morning lasting no more than 30mins
- persistent pain
- worsening pain when the joint is used
- often in those aged over 40yrs
Examination findings will often find joints which are swollen or larger than normal (readily seen in osteoarthritis of the hands and knees). Joints will also have a reduced range of motion and may have crepitus (clicking, grinding etc). Orthopedic tests can be conducted to determine which joint is involved.
Investiagions can help with a diagnosis.
Xrays: Images may show cartilage breakdown via a narrowing of joint space. Bone spurs around a joint may also be revealed. Arthritis can show up on xray before and symptoms are present.
MRI can look at bone and cartilage to determine the condition of both tissues.
Blood tests do no test for osteoarthritis however can be used to rule out other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
A more invasive procedure known as arthrocentesis (joint fluid analysis) can aspirate (withdraw) fluid from an inflamed joint. This is sent to the lab to determine what is causing the swelling in the joint. It is often used to determine if it is due to gout or an infection.
I hope this helps, and once again apologise for mis reading the initial question.
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