Glossary On Diagnosis

How do I know it’s Osteoarthritis?

Examination of the painful joint can tell your doctor a lot about the disease but certain tests need to be done for the confirmation of the diagnosis.

Physical examination of the joint can reveal:

  • Joint swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Grating of a joint with motion

Investigations that your physician may ask you to undergo:

X-rays: X-ray of the affected joint may reveal a narrowing of the space within a joint. This occurs because of the cartilage wearing off. Bony spurs around the affected joint can also be detected on x-rays.

Joint fluid analysis: A small quantity of fluid from the affected joint may be removed (arthrocentesis) for testing in a laboratory. It can detect any infection or the presence of gout which can also cause knee pain.  

Arthroscopy:  This is a procedure in which a tiny camera is used to visualize the interior of the joint. During arthroscopy, small incisions are made around the joint and a tiny camera is inserted to see the inside of the joint as well as to repair any abnormality that may be found.

Blood tests are usually not required except to rule out other diseases that may cause the joint pain such as Rheumatoid arthritis.