Osteoarthritis lab tests

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Osteoarthritis is probably the most type of arthritis seen by most rheumatologists. Laboratory tests can be used to supplement the history and physical examination and confirm or refute the diagnosis.

Laboratory tests used for the workup of arthritis are usually normal or negative in osteoarthritis. These include complete blood count, chemistry panel, thyroid function test, anti-nuclear antibody, erythrocyte sedimentation rate ("sed rate"), C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor, anti-CCP, uric acid, and urinalysis.

Other tests include:

• Joint aspiration (or arthrocentesis). This involves draining fluid from the joint for examination. It can help rule out other medical conditions. After applying a local anesthetic, a needle is inserted into the joint using ultrasound guidance and fluid is withdrawn. The fluid will be examined for evidence of crystals or joint deterioration.
• X-rays. X-rays are used to show damage or other changes to cartilage and bone that indicate OA.
• MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. This is a more sophisticated method than X-rays of looking inside a joint. MRI reveals soft tissue abnormalities as well as cartilage and bone.

Because there is no sure-fire test that diagnoses osteoarthritis, a doctor will use the medical history, physical exam and lab test results to look for indicators of OA, including:

• Pain, stiffness and limited movement in affected joints.
• Bony enlargement of the affected joints
• X-rays that might show formation of bone spurs
• Narrowing of the joint space from cartilage loss shown on an X-ray.

Osteoarthritis can coexist with other forms of arthritis. That is important to know and understand.

Get more information about osteoarthritis lab tests and related topics as well as...

• Insider arthritis tips that help you erase the pain and fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis almost overnight!

• Devastating ammunition against low back pain... discover 9 secrets!

• Ignored remedies that eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms quickly!

• Obsolete treatments for knee osteoarthritis that still are used... and may still work for you!

• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...

• 7 easy-to-implement neck pain remedies that work like a charm!

• And much more...

Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Return to arthritis home page.

Copyright (c) 2004 Arthritis-Treatment-and-Relief.com - All Rights Reserved

How to Beat Arthritis! Get our FREE monthly Ezine and get your life back!

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Insider Arthritis Tips.