X-rays are an essential tool for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis and its medical care.
They are easily interpreted by your doctor. They consist of:
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X-rays are used to estimate the deterioration of cartilage and bone caused by osteoarthritis.
However, be aware that there is no real connection between the lesions (described above) observed and clinical signs such as pain or functional impairment.
X-rays of the symptomatic joints are carried out during the first consultation. The frequency for renewing this examination depends on how quickly your osteoarthritis evolves. But it's up to your doctor to determine when they should be done.
The type of X-rays most often requested are images of both hands and wrists from the front.
Usually the space narrowing is not measured. The examination focuses specifically on the medical care, the number of affected joints and the degree of damage to them.
The diagnosis for digital osteoarthritis, compared to other types of osteoarthritis is mainly clinical with the appearance of nodules. But X-rays are a good complement for the diagnosis and monitoring the progression of osteoarthritis. They enable excluding other diseases such as psoriatic arthritis or hydroxy-apatite rheumatism.
Images of the front and side of the hand.
J: Joint space narrowing
Measuring joint space narrowing is a good indicator of the level of wear on your cartilage by the osteoarthritis.