Tests and Diagnosis

Based on the type of arthritic condition, the physician may suggest you certain tests.

Laboratory tests

Analyzing different types of fluids in the body can help in finding out the correct type of arthritis you are suffering from. The fluids taken to analyze are:

  • Urine
  • Joint fluid
  • Blood

To fetch the joint fluid, the area around the particular joint is made numb and a needle in inserted for withdrawing some fluid.

Imaging Tests

These tests help in detecting the condition your joint is suffering from. The tests include:

  • X-rays – These tests help in detecting the bone damage, cartilage loss and bone spurs by using low radiation levels. Though X-rays may not detect the early stage, they help in indicating the disease progression.
  • CT (Computerized Tomography) Scan – In this scanning, the X-rays are taken from various angles and the information is combined to view cross sectional images of the internal structures. The CT scan helps in visualizing the bone and its surrounding tissues.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – This imaging test is a combination of radio waves and strong magnetic field. MRI produces more detailed view of the cross sectional images of softer tissues like ligaments, tendons and cartilages.
  • Ultrasound – Sound waves are used to obtain view of both soft and hard tissues within the body. It even helps in determining the placement of the needle to inject medicine or withdraw the fluid from the joint.

Arthoscopy

In certain cases, the physician will insert a flexible, small tube through an incision near the damaged joint. This helps in viewing the interior area of the joint in a video screen.