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[Up] [Anatomy joints] [Types of arthritis] [Spondylosis] [Investigations] [Management  arthritis] [Physiotherapy modern] [Joint strengthening] [Exercises 1] [Exercises 2] [Newer medicines] [Questions answered]

Investigations for initial diagnosis of arthritis

 

 Investigations are done to

  • Confirm the presence of arthritis.

  • Extent of damage present in an arthritic joint.

  • To establish the type of arthritis present. (Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gouty arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis.etc.)

  • To detect associated and interlinked disease processes.

  • To follow up recovery process during management.

 

 Main investigations done are.

  • Plain X-rays of joints. This tells us about bone destruction, decreased joint space.

  • CT Scan and MRI studies whenever indicated.

  • Specific serological tests like Rheumatoid factor to confirm Rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Biochemical tests like Serum Uric acid in case of suspected Gouty arthritis.

  • Blood counts like Hb, TLC, DLC, ESR. This can tell us about disease activity.

  • Examination of Joint fluid to diagnose type of arthritis.

  • Arthroscopy.

  • Arthrocentesis 

  • Arthrogram.

 

 

Arthroscopy

 

 

 Arthroscopy  examination of the interior of a joint.

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Arthroscopy (also called arthroscopic surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a physical examination of the interior of a joint is performed using an arthroscope, a type of endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision.

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Arthroscopic procedures can be performed either to evaluate, or to treat, many orthopaedic conditions including torn floating cartilage, torn surface cartilage, ACL reconstruction and trimming damaged cartilage.

 
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It is done by putting a specially designed microscope-like device (endoscope) through a small cut. 

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The procedure is used chiefly in knee problems. 

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Arthroscopy permits removal of cartilage or fluid from the joint (synovial fluid), the diagnosis of a torn meniscus, and the removal of loose bodies in the joint space.

 

 

           Arthrocentesis

 

 

                                              

 Arthrocentesis

Arthrocentesis: Joint aspiration, a procedure whereby a sterile needle and syringe are used to drain fluid from a joint. This is usually done as an office procedure or at the bedside in the hospital.

 
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A procedure involving puncturing a joint with a needle and withdrawing fluid (synovial fluid) from the joint. 

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Arthrocentesis is done to get samples of synovial fluid for diagnosis. 

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A local anesthetic is usually given first. 

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Normal synovial fluid is a clear, straw-colored, slightly thick liquid. 

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If swelling is present, as in rheumatoid arthritis, the fluid is watery and cloudy. 

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Synovial fluid samples are also cultured. 

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Examination with a microscope then is done to diagnose an infection of the joints.

 

 Arthrogram  
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An x-ray film of a joint after the injection of a dye that illuminates inner structures.

 

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