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Diagnosis of Arthritis of the Wrist Print E-mail

Diagnosing degenerative arthritis of the wrist begins with a patient history. Details about any previous injuries to the wrist joint are important to understanding why the condition exists.

In addition, a physical examination of the wrist joint, and possibly other joints in the body, will be done. It will be important for your doctor to see how the motion of the wrist joint has been affected. The alignment of the wrist joint will also be assessed.

X-rays will be taken to assess the damaged joint. This test to determine how bad the degenerative arthritis has become is usually the most important. The amount of cartilage remaining in the wrist joint can be estimated with the X-rays.

If there is any question that the arthritis may by caused by something other than degenerative arthritis, blood tests may be ordered to look for systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. A needle may be inserted into the joint to remove some of the joint fluid to check for crystals from gouty arthritis or for signs of infection. Gout is a disease that leads to a chemical imbalance causing crystals to form in the joint fluid. The crystals cause an inflammation of the joint, a true arthritis.

 

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