And welcome to the One Care Medical Center, which is a 100 bedded super specialty Orthopaedic hospital in Coimbatore. My name is Dr. Salam and I am a full-time orthopedic consultant at OCMC. In today’s blog post we are going to discuss about diagnosing osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is particularly painful, no matter what joints are involved. But, establishing a clinical diagnosis your orthopedic consultant should differentiate primary osteoarthritis from secondary arthritis. Sometimes it becomes important to determine whether the patient is suffering from any other co-existing disease state
Thus, an accurate diagnosis helps us clinicians administer appropriate care at the right time
Clinical History in osteoarthritis diagnosis:-
Usually, a depth clinical history will involve information about patients past medical conditions, treatments, medication use, allergy status, and other surgical procedures done. Common questions on your symptoms will also be asked, including some questions on factors that improve or worsen your clinical symptoms
Orthopedic physical examination:-
A full-fledged orthopedic physical exam usually includes an examination for
1. Joint tenderness and joint swelling
2. Range of joint movements/motion
3. Presence of visible joint damage
4. Lastly, crepitus
In most patients, a simple X-ray is all that is required to make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. X-rays can also reveal narrowing of the joint space and other signs of joint degradation. Despite the fact that an MRI is still the better imaging tool, an X-Ray is usually more than adequate to establish a clinical diagnosis
In our hospital, we follow the highly well validated ‘American College of Rheumatology Diagnostic Criteria’ for working up primary osteoarthritis of the hands, hips, and knees
An example of knee osteoarthritis diagnosis would be
1. Presence of severe knee pain
2. And the presence of 3 of 6 given below criteria
3. Patient age more than 50 years
4. Stiffness lasting less than 30 mins
6. Tenderness of bone and enlargement
7. Lack of warmth on touch
Some lab related findings to confirm primary osteoarthritis is the rheumatoid factor less than 1:40, and a synovial fluid exam that shows clear yet viscous fluid with a WBC count <2000.
While it is the duty of the doctor to establish a clinical diagnosis, treatments can be made very simple if patients understand the need to do/perform certain tests when required.
Hope you enjoyed reading this short article!. Do share it with all your friend’s and loved ones!. Cheers