There are no definitive tests to confirm osteoarthritis (OA). Your doctor may suspect OA based on symptoms, their pattern, and a physical exam. Imaging tests such as x-rays, ultrasound, or MRI scan may be done to confirm the diagnosis or assess the amount of damage. A joint with OA will have lost some of the normal space that exists between the bones (joint space) which will be visible on an imaging test.

Blood and joint fluids may be tested to rule out other joint disorders with similar symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, or joint infections. Tests may include: