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Conditions in Depth

This page contains the basic information about Osteoarthritis .

Return to the Osteoarthritis Main Condition Center


Your doctor may ask about osteoarthritis in your parents, because osteoarthritis appears to have a genetic component.

He or she will examine you, looking for tenderness, warmth and swelling around the joint or joints. There is no test that confirms the diagnosis. Your doctor may order X-rays, but osteoarthritis only shows up on X-rays in the later stages of the disease and many people have osteoarthritis by x-ray in joints that have no symptoms. Your health care professional also may order blood tests to look for evidence of another arthritic condition.

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Created: 4/27/2004   |   Last Modified: 8/21/2006
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2006 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.