Arthritis Diagnosis

Getting the right information for arthritis diagnosis is the very first step toward a successful treatment. Arthritis is an inflammation of the person’s joints in one or more specific areas of the body. Technically there are more than one hundred various types of arthritis which all have different causes and may have different treatment methods. Its symptoms generally appear gradually however they sometimes appear suddenly. It is typically experience by adults who are over the age of sixty five but there are many cases wherein they develop in teens, even in children.

When you suspect having an arthritis you may need to first discuss all the symptoms you’ve encountered to a health care professional. Usually, the person will be referred to a doctor who is specializing in the treatment of joint problems called as Rheumatologist for further evaluation. While you need to expect for a physical exam and various tests to evaluate your condition there are things you need to make prior to your doctor’s appointment. Prepare a detailed description of the symptoms which is very essential for your diagnosis. More so, you will need to prepare information regarding your medical problems you have encountered in the past and your family’s medical problems. It would also help to prepare all the details or list of all medications and any dietary supplements you are taking. Above all, prepare all the concerns and questions you want to ask your doctor.

Diagnosis for arthritis is generally based on clinical presentation. Your diagnosis will begin with your doctor performing a physical examination. The physician will check the limited range of motions in your join, the warm joints and feeling of fluid around your joints. The inflammation levels and analysis of the person’s bodily fluid like joint fluid and blood would help the physician identify what kind of arthritis you are having. The doctor will then suggest to perform specific laboratory tests, depending on the type of arthritis he may have suspected.

X rays at low levels of radiation is a very common method to detect problem within your joint which might be causing the symptoms. X rays will show bone damage, cartilage loss and common bone spurs however it may not reveal arthritic damage which is at early stage. X rays are often used to track progression of arthritis within the person. Some conditions will require Computerized tomography (CT) scans in order to combine details obtain with your x ray results to make cross-sectional views of the internal structures of the affected area. CT scan is very helpful in visualizing the surrounding soft tissues and the bone. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound are other imaging methods recommended by physicians. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves which is used to capture  soft tissues, fluid-containing structures  and cartilage. MRI on the other hand, produces more detailed cross-sectional images because of the radio waves and strong magnetic field in the technology. It produces clearer images of tendons, cartilage and ligaments.

There are few doctors who would recommend arthroscopy. This is a procedure where the physician will insert an arthroscope into the joint. This will transmit the images from inside the joint into a video screen.