Physical examination and x-ray of the affected joint can help diagnose osteoarthritis
The abnormality in the joints in osteoarthritis gives rise to inflammation. On physical examination, the affected joint shows the following features:
- Heat - The joint area will be warm.
- Redness - The skin around the affected area will be reddish in color.
- Swelling - There will be enlargement of joint.
- Pain - Pain is felt over the affected area. Normal movement of the joint is also very painful.
- Tenderness - Tenderness is present over the affected joint. It is usually caused by gentle pressure on the affected area.
- Crepitation - Joint movement may cause a cracking or grating sound.
- Blood tests do not help in diagnosing osteoarthritis.
An X-ray of the affected joint can help the doctor with the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. X-ray in the initial stages shows a loss of the joint space. In advanced cases, there is wearing down of the ends of the bone and bone spurs (small bony projections).