When You Visit Your Doctor - Osteoarthritis


Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • How long have you had painful joints?
  • Which joints are involved and which are most painful?
  • Is the pain worse or better after walking or other exercise?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • What therapies help the most?
  • 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 know the side effects of each medication?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Joint examination
  • Muscles
  • Gait

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Blood tests if your symptoms are atypical for osteoarthritis
  • X-rays of the involved joints
  • CT scans of the involved joints
  • MRI scans of the involved joints