Osteoarthritis Symptoms / Diagnosis
From Carol Eustice, former About.com Guide
Recognizing Early Symptoms
Early osteoarthritis symptoms typically involve a single joint. When only one joint is affected, the condition is referred to as monoarthritis. As symptoms first appear, it's important to distinguish joint pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis from similar symptoms associated with other types of arthritis.
- Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Is Osteoarthritis Onset of Symptoms Always Gradual?
- Do Arthritis Patients Live With Constant Pain?
- Recognizing Early Osteoarthritis Symptoms: Pain in a Single Joint
- What Causes Osteoarthritis Pain in a Joint?
- Does Inflammation Play a Role in Osteoarthritis?
- What Is Osteoarthritis?
- Joint Pain Is Primary Symptom of Osteoarthritis
- What Is Generalized Osteoarthritis?
- What Exactly Is "Minor Arthritis Pain"?
- 4 Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis
- What Are Heberden's Nodes?
- What Are Bouchard's Nodes?
- What Is Severe Osteoarthritis?
- Could It Be Osteoarthritis?
- Symptomatic vs. Radiographic Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but the disease is more common in certain joints. The hips and knees are the next most common sites of osteoarthritis and are almost always symptomatic. The first metatarsal phalangeal (great toe) and carpometacarpal joints of the hand also are common sites of osteoarthritis observed on x-ray. The shoulder, elbow, wrist, and metacarpophalangeal joints of the hand are rare sites of osteoarthritis unless related to injury or trauma. Learn more about osteoarthritis in specific joints.
- Knee Osteoarthritis
- Hip Osteoarthritis
- Spine Osteoarthritis
- Hand Osteoarthritis
- Thumb Osteoarthritis
- Elbow Osteoarthritis
- Wrist Osteoarthritis
- Shoulder Osteoarthritis
- Neck Osteoarthritis
- Foot Osteoarthritis
- Hallux Rigidus
- Erosive Osteoarthritis
- Ankle Osteoarthritis
- Finger Osteoarthritis
- What Is Femoroacetabular Impingement?
- What Is the Patellofemoral Joint?
- What Is Chronic Pain?
Getting Diagnosed With Osteoarthritis
When diagnosing osteoarthritis, the doctor must first differentiate osteoarthritis from other types of arthritis. It is also important to determine whether a patient has primary osteoarthritis or a secondary form of osteoarthritis associated with another disease or condition. Early, accurate diagnosis of osteoarthritis is necessary so that appropriate treatment options can be considered.
- Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis
- X-ray Evidence of Osteoarthritis
- Is an MRI Needed to Diagnose Osteoarthritis?
- Joint Space Narrowing
- What Is a Subchondral Cyst?
- What Is Subchondral Sclerosis?
- Arthrocentesis - What You Should Know
- What Is Range of Motion?
- Fatigue and Osteoarthritis
- All About Cartilage
- What Is Cartilage Loss?
- 10 Things You Should Know About Cartilage
- Physical Function - How Is It Assessed in Osteoarthritis Patients?
- Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis - What's the Difference?
- 6 Criteria Used to Diagnose Knee Osteoarthritis
- What Is Subchondral Bone?
- What Is Bone-on-Bone?
- Self-Diagnosis Leaves Uncertainty
- Synovial Crystals in Osteoarthritis
- Does Everyone Get Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis Risk Factors
Not all people who have osteoarthritis evident on x-ray develop symptomatic osteoarthritis. This fact has made defining osteoarthritis risk factors more difficult. Learning about known risk factors for osteoarthritis may lower your chance of developing the disease. Some of the risk factors are controllable but others are not.
- Osteoarthritis Risk Factors
- Overweight: A Risk Factor for Osteoarthritis
- Smoking and Osteoarthritis
- Does Aging Cause Osteoarthritis?
- Does Ankle Fracture Lead to Osteoarthritis?
Consulting a Doctor
A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in arthritis and related diseases. Most often, a patient is referred to a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon by their primary care physician after presenting symptoms of arthritis. It's important that you feel you can communicate well with your doctor or specialist. You must be able to ask questions, understand your doctor's advice, and feel that the doctor is available and reachable.
- When Should You Ask a Doctor About Your Symptoms?
- First Visit to the Rheumatologist
- Talk to Your Doctor!
- Multidisciplinary Team Is Best for Treating Osteoarthritis
- Nothing Can Be Done for Osteoarthritis?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions About Osteoarthritis
Quizzes About Osteoarthritis
Can you recognize symptoms of osteoarthritis? Do you know about medications and treatments used for osteoarthritis? Do you know if you have the risk factors for osteoarthritis? We'll be building this section up with more quizzes about all aspects of osteoarthritis.
- Osteoarthritis Quiz - True or False?
- Knee Osteoarthritis - Test Your Knowledge
- Hip Osteoarthritis - Test Your Knowledge