Diagnosing arthritis may be difficult. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Many symptoms are similar among the different conditions affecting the joints. Arthritis may be generally categorized into the following groups: degenerative arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, metabolic arthritis, and infectious arthritis. Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis) is the most common type. Rheumatoid arthritis and gout are two other more common types.
A diagnosis of arthritis is the first step toward successful treatment. To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will consider your symptoms, perform a physical exam to check for swollen joints or loss of motion, and use blood tests and X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays and blood tests also help distinguish the type of arthritis you have. For example, most people with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies called rheumatoid factors (RF) in their blood, although RF may also be present in other disorders.
X-rays are used to diagnose osteoarthritis, typically revealing a loss of cartilage, bone spurs, and in extreme cases, bone rubbing against bone. Sometimes, joint aspiration (using a needle to draw a small sample of fluid from the joint for testing) is used to rule out other types of arthritis. If your doctor suspects infectious arthritis as a complication of some other disease, testing a sample of fluid from the affected joint will usually confirm the diagnosis and determine how it will be treated.
Information from https://www.webmd.com/ website
Information from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/ website
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