A physician will be able to diagnose your problem. Using a series of questions, X-rays, and clinical tests, the diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis (OA) is fairly straightforward.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has a classification system used by most doctors to make the diagnosis. Knee pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms. Stiffness is more pronounced in the morning but the pain is less. Once you get up and moving, the stiffness usually goes away. As the day goes on, pain may increase.
X-rays show bone spurs, loss of joint space, and poor knee joint alignment. All of these are common findings in patients with OA. X-rays are not relied upon by themselves. Many people have positive X-ray findings but no pain and no limitations.
The ACR supports the diagnosis of OA if these three conditions are met:
Patient is 50 years old or older
X-rays show bone spurs
Stiffness and creaking or crackling of the joints called crepitus is present; the stiffness lasts for less than 30 minutes in the morning
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent many long-term problems. Don't put off a medical exam. Find out now what might be causing your symptoms and address the problem right away.