When diagnosing arthritis, a doctor will perform a physical exam and collect information about a patient’s medical history.
A physical examination can show:
• Any fluid around a joint
• Warm, red, and tender joints
• Limited range of motion in the affected joint
Some types of arthritis can cause the joint to become physically deformed. This could signal severe, untreated rheumatoid arthritis.
A doctor might test the blood or order x-rays to check for infection or other causes of arthritis. A sample of joint fluid examined by a lab can also tell a doctor more about the cause of a patient’s arthritis.
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