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HealthInfo Canterbury

Osteoarthritis tests & diagnosis

Your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and may carry out an examination. They will usually want to check what range of movement you have in your joints.

There is no specific test for osteoarthritis, and your doctor will normally diagnose it based on your symptoms and examination. Sometimes you will need to have an X-ray, which helps to confirm a diagnosis and check for damage to your joints.

If your doctor suspects you might have a different condition, for example, a form of rheumatoid arthritis, you may need to have some blood tests. Your doctor will arrange any extra tests you need.

If you have a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, your GP will manage your care, referring you to specialists as needed. Your doctor can advise you on lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your symptoms, special devices and aids to help you cope and will possibly prescribe medications for pain.

On the next page: Living with osteoarthritis

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

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Review key: HIOST-35589