Colorado Arthritis Center, P.C. - Rheumatology Colorado Arthritis Center, P.C. - Rheumatology : (303) 788-1312
Specialists in Rheumatology….from Arthritis to Osteoporosis
 
Conditions We Treat

Diagnosis

Arthritis is the condition where inflammation in the joints occurs. The diagnosis of arthritis is based on the review of the family history of the patient, history of the joint pain, and complete physical examination of the patient. The physical examination shows the swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness and often the limited range of motion of the joints. In addition, imaging techniques are also employed which supports the diagnosis and often discloses the type of arthritis and its severity.

Early diagnosis is important as it can prevent permanent destruction of cartilage, bone, and ligaments, which causes irreversible deformity and loss of function of the affected body part.

There are various blood tests which may be used to diagnose arthritis, determine its type, severity and also the related complications of the disease. These tests include erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), antinuclear antibody test (ANA), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), rheumatoid factor test (RF), complete blood count and urinalysis.

The analysis of the synovial fluid may be helpful in detecting markers of joint destruction, but is not commonly performed.

X-rays of the joints are taken to check for signs of joint damage. Other imaging techniques such as ultrasound, DEXA scan, CT scan and MRI scan are also used as per the condition of the patient.

X-ray is a commonly used test but is usually not helpful in detecting early stages of arthritis as they cannot show the images of soft tissue.

Special ultrasound techniques called power Doppler ultrasonography (PDUS) or quantitative ultrasound (QUS) are also useful in detecting arthritis conditions. PDUS is used for monitoring inflammatory activity in the joint, whereas QUS is used for osteoporosis and also the bone loss in fingers.  Specially designed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment called extremity MRI is employed in detecting bone erosions in the hands of the patient.

Osteoarthritic Knee Normal Knee
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