Diseases

Osteoarthritis: the diagnosis

Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may request additional examinations and firstly X-rays.

The radiological signs do not often have to do with the intensity of the pain, some articulations very osteoarthritic on the radio, have sometimes never appeared, other articulations very painful for several months, have no sign of osteoarthritis on the radio.

The signs that suggest the diagnosis of osteoarthritis are a pinch of a joint signifying the destruction of cartilage (it is not visible on the radio, that's why between two bony ends, there is normally an "empty space" more or less important depending on the joint), we can also see an osteophytosis, a "reworking" bone.

X-rays also make it possible to check an anatomical malformation, bones misaligned with respect to the joint, and sequelae of joint trauma. They are also an opportunity to review the evolution of osteoarthritis and ask the possible indication of a repair surgery.

The general practitioner can possibly refer a patient suffering from osteoarthritis to a rheumatologist or a specialist in functional rehabilitation. An orthopedic surgeon is asked if an operation is planned.

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