Arthritis: How is it diagnosed?

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Arthritis: How is it diagnosed?

Question

What tests determine whether a person has arthritis?

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Answer

No single test can diagnose arthritis. Instead, a variety of examinations and diagnostics tests may be used to establish a diagnosis, including:

  • Physical examination to check for tenderness, redness, warmth, stiffness or fluid in a joint
  • Personal and family medical history
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • X-rays and other imaging tests
  • Removal of fluid from a swollen joint for examination (joint aspiration)

If you have pain, stiffness, swelling, or difficulty moving a joint or doing daily activities, see your doctor. These may be signs and symptoms of arthritis.

Last Updated: 02/07/2007
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