Your doctor will diagnose osteoarthritis from your symptoms, a physical examination and usually an X-ray of the affected joints. An X-ray may show the typical narrowing and changes in the shape of your joint of osteoarthritis. However, X-rays do not diagnose how much trouble you will have.
An X-ray that shows joint damage does not always mean you will have a lot of pain or problems. On the other hand your joint may be very painful despite X-rays being normal or near normal. Blood tests are only helpful to rule out other types of arthritis.
Last reviewed: June 2018