As mentioned earlier, there are over 120 types of arthritis. Correctly diagnosing the type of arthritis a patient has may take several visits to a physician and perhaps a referral to a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of people with various forms of arthritis.
While OA can be slow to cause any noticeable symptoms, once symptoms occur, it is important that a physician be involved in your care. By seeking medical attention early, you may prevent or decrease serious joint damage.
You also will be able to work with your physician in developing a treatment plan which is individualized for your needs and tailored to your lifestyle.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis2,3
- Joint pain
- Morning stiffness
- Buckling or instability
- Loss of function
- Bony enlargement
- Limitation of range of motion
- Crepitus on motion
- Tenderness on pressure
- Pain on motion
- Joint Swelling
- Malalignment and/or joint deformity
2. Hochberg, M.C., Altman, R.D., Brandt, K.D., et al., Guidelines for the Medical Management of Osteoarthritis, Arthritis Rheum., 38 (II): 1535-1546, 1995.
3. Brunton, S., Clinical Evaluation of the Patient with Osteoarthritis, Postgraduate Medicine Special Report, McGraw-Hill Healthcare Information Programs, August 1998.