are an important part of the diagnostic process for osteoarthritis.
But before taking x-rays, the physician will take a medical
history and perform a physical examination. Other tests
that may be performed include blood tests, joint aspiration,
computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI), arthrography (joint x-ray using contrast material
inside the joint), and/or arthroscopy (examination of the
inside of the joint using an arthroscope, a small tube-shaped
instrument that consists of a system of lenses, a small
video camera, and a light for viewing).
The physician will review all information available before making a diagnosis
of osteoarthritis, as the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis may resemble those
of other conditions. If the physician suspects a person has a type of rheumatic
disease other than osteoarthritis or if the diagnostic tests are not conclusive,
the physician may refer the person to a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes
in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases.