Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:
- How long have you had painful joints?
- Which joints are involved?
- Does the pain wake you at night?
- Does it occur at rest?
- Do you have swelling or deformities in any joints?
- What activities can you no longer do because of the arthritis?
- How long ago did you stop doing them?
- How far can you walk?
- Have your knees ever "given way"?
- Do you have difficulty opening jars or grasping objects?
- Do you have any other conditions, such as heart or lung disease, that also limit your ability to function?
- What have you done to treat your osteoarthritis?
- Have you seen a physical therapist?
- Do you use a cane (for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip)?
- What medications do you take (over-the-counter and prescription) to treat the pain?
- How effective are they?
- Do you ever stop taking your medications to find out if they make a difference?
- Are you ever free of pain?
- Do you know the side effects of each medication?
- Do you know the indications for joint replacement?
Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:
- Joint examination
Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:
- X-rays of the involved joints (see p. 137)
- CT scans of the involved joints (see p. 141)
- MRI scans of the involved joints (see p. 143)