Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Osteoarthritis tests & diagnosis

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and may examine you. 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.

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 or a scan such as an X-ray. Your doctor will arrange any extra tests that you need.

If you're diagnosed with osteoarthritis, your GP will manage your care. They can advise you on things you can do to help manage your symptoms, and special devices and aids to help you cope. They may prescribe pain relief medications. Your GP can also refer you to a specialist if needed.

On the next page: Living with osteoarthritis

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by rheumatologist, Department of Rheumatology, Immunology & Allergy, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed December 2017.

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Page reference: 48778

Review key: HIOST-35589