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> > > > > How is osteoarthritis of the knee diagnosed?

How is osteoarthritis of the knee diagnosed?

Your doctor will make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee based on your symptoms and an examination. During the examination, they’ll check for:

  • tenderness over your knee
  • creaking and grating (crepitus)
  • bony swelling
  • excess fluid
  • restricted movement
  • instability of your knee
  • thinning of the muscles that support your knee.

What tests are there for osteoarthritis of the knee?

X-rays are the most useful tests to confirm a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, although they won’t often be needed. X-rays may show changes such as osteophytes, narrowing of the space between bones and calcium deposits within your joint.

X-rays aren’t a good indicator of how much pain or disability you’re likely to have – some people have a lot of pain from minor joint damage but others have little pain from severe damage.

Your doctor may suggest you have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on your knee, which will show the soft tissues (e.g. cartilage, tendons, muscles) and changes in the bone that can’t be seen on a standard x-ray. This is quite rare though.

There’s no blood test for osteoarthritis but they can be used to rule out other conditions.


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