Arthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adults. It also leads to other symptoms like stiffness and reduced range of motion. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to ensure proper management and ease the condition’s effects.
However, before beginning any procedure, your doctor will perform tests to diagnose and monitor the progression of your knee arthritis. Aside from a physical assessment, here are what you may need before you start your treatment:
X-rays are one of the most common tests used to diagnose knee arthritis. They can help your doctor evaluate knee cartilage, bone, and joint space.
This imaging test uses a small amount of radiation to create images of your knee. It can help identify any signs of joint damage or malformations associated with arthritis.
X-rays are safe and non-invasive, meaning children and pregnant women can undergo them. However, the test may not be suitable for people with metal implants.
2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is another imaging test your doctor can use to evaluate your arthritis. It uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the soft tissues in your knee, like:
- Ligaments – connect your bones and provide stability
- Tendons – attach muscle to bone
- Cartilage – cushions the ends of your bones
MRI scans are painless, but they can take up to an hour. Some people may feel slightly claustrophobic during the scan.
Nowadays, some clinics conduct open MRI scans, which are more spacious and comfortable than traditional MRI machines.
Tell your doctor if you are afraid of small spaces so they can arrange the best test for you.
3. Blood Tests
Your doctor might order a blood test to check for any signs of inflammation. This test can help them determine if your knee pain is from arthritis or another condition.
It is not necessary for diagnosing arthritis. But it can help your doctor monitor your condition and rule out other issues.
Ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to produce detailed images of the soft tissues in your knee. It can help your doctor detect damage or swelling caused by arthritis. In addition, it can help measure the thickness of your joint cartilage and space.
Ultrasound is non-invasive and painless, so it’s suitable for everyone.
5. Joint Fluid Analysis
Your doctor might order a joint fluid analysis to check for signs of arthritis. During this test, they will insert a needle into your knee and extract some fluid from the area. The sample goes to a laboratory for testing.
However, it is usually only recommended if other tests do not provide a definitive diagnosis.
When to See Your Doctor for Arthritis
Knee arthritis can prevent you from going about your daily life and staying active. Visit a reliable orthopedic clinic if you experience any of the following:
- Pain or discomfort in the knee
- Swelling around the joint
- Difficulty bending or straightening your knee
- Decreased range of motion
If you think you have arthritis, make an appointment with your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more severe complications.
There is no cure for knee arthritis, but you can manage it with physical therapy, medication, and surgery.
Your doctor can also recommend lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. With proper management, you can lead an active and healthy life.
Knee Arthritis Treatment in Boynton Beach, FL
Remember, the sooner you seek help, the better your chances of improving your arthritis condition. Your doctor can also recommend other measures to reduce joint pain and improve mobility. So, don’t hesitate. Take control of your health today!
Are you in need of a reliable knee arthritis treatment in Boynton Beach, FL? Palm Beach Ortho & Palm Beach Orthopedics is one of the best in the industry you can trust. We perform knee replacements on a regular basis and also provide physical therapy services, which we make available on-site. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality comprehensive orthopedic care in Palm Beaches.
We look forward to helping you live your best life!