Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, often resulting in chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult.
Depression and sleep disturbances can result from the pain and disability of osteoarthritis.
During the physical exam, your doctor will check your affected joint for tenderness, swelling, redness and flexibility.
X-rays: Cartilage does not show up on X-ray images, but cartilage loss is revealed by a narrowing of the space between the bones in your joint. An X-ray can also show bone spurs around a joint.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of bone and soft tissues, including cartilage. An MRI is not commonly needed to diagnose osteoarthritis but can help provide more information in complex cases.
Blood tests: Although there is no blood test for osteoarthritis, certain tests can help rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Joint fluid analysis: Your doctor might use a needle to draw fluid from an affected joint. The fluid is then tested for inflammation and to determine whether your pain is caused by gout or an infection rather than osteoarthritis.
Courtesy: Mayo Clinic