Osteoarthritis can respond better to treatment in the early stages. That's why early diagnosis is so important. Talk to your doctor about your knee pain. He or she may refer you to a specialist, such as a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon, who will use some or all of the following tools to diagnose your condition.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, your pain level, any past medical conditions, family history and your work and leisure activities. The more your doctor knows about you, the easier diagnosis will be.
Your doctor will examine your leg and knee and look for swelling, redness or any unusual characteristics. He or she will also check on your knees' stability and range of motion.
Blood tests can be useful in diagnosing certain conditions, but many times, the tests are used to eliminate other possible diagnoses.
Some doctors may use this procedure, which involves draining fluid from the joint to relieve or look for joint problems.
Imaging techniques help your doctor get a better look at the inside of your knee joint. The most common ones are X-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).