Diagnostic Procedures for Detecting Osteoarthritis

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An accurate history and a thorough examination must precede special tests that are to confirm the diagnosis of OA. Currently there is no single reliable diagnostic test; thus a step-wise approach is employed. In straightforward symptomatic cases, plain radiography is often all that is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. If the process is thought to be linked to crystal deposition disease or secondary to an inflammatory arthropathy, a full workup including urate levels, full blood count, erthyrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, rheumatoid factor, and autoantibody screen may be indicated.

Table 1.1. Kellgren and Lawrence radiographic scale for osteoarthritis [45]

0 No features of osteoarthritis

1 Doubtful; minute osteophyte of doubtful significance

2 Minimal; definite osteophyte but joint space unimpaired

3 Moderate; moderate diminution of joint space

4 Severe; joint space severely impaired with sclerosis of subchondral bone

Plain radiography may be unremarkable in the early stages, but joints exhibiting classic disease demonstrate characteristic features, as noted by Kellgren and Lawrence [45], who encouraged the classification of OA solely on radiologic grounds (Table 1.1). Alternative grading systems have evolved since the

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Thank you for deciding to learn more about the disorder, Osteoarthritis. Inside these pages, you will learn what it is, who is most at risk for developing it, what causes it, and some treatment plans to help those that do have it feel better. While there is no definitive “cure” for Osteoarthritis, there are ways in which individuals can improve their quality of life and change the discomfort level to one that can be tolerated on a daily basis.

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