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HealthInfo Canterbury

Inflammatory arthritis tests & diagnosis

Your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and how long you've had them and will examine the affected joints. They may want to know about other health problems such as back pain, psoriasis, rashes, bowel problems, and recent infections, and also if any of these conditions run in your family. It can be difficult to diagnose rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.

Your doctor may want to rule out other conditions such as septic arthritis, and gout.

If your doctor suspects you have inflammatory arthritis, or is concerned about your symptoms, they may suggest you have some of the following tests:

Diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis

If you have been diagnosed with a form of inflammatory arthritis, it is likely that you will be referred to a rheumatologist at Christchurch Hospital to look at starting preventative treatment. This is important to reduce joint damage and to stop or delay the arthritis from getting worse.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Living with inflammatory arthritis

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated August 2017.

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Page reference: 48759

Review key: HIRPA-18707