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Diagnostic Tests for Knee symptoms

Diagnostic Test list for Knee symptoms:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Knee symptoms includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Inspect the knee with the person walking, standing and lying
    • A systematic examination of the affected knee looking for signs of inflammation, deformity, swelling, disordered stability and reduced range of motion - e.g. tenderness and warmth indicates inflammation; redness of the skin over the joint indicates gout, pseudogout, rheumatic fever or septic arthritis.
    • Full physical examination looking for signs of systemic disease that can predispose or present with joint pain - e.g. rash and pitted nails of psoriasis; Raynaud's phenomenon of rheumatoid arthritis; doughnut-shaped rash of Lyme disease; butterfly rash of systemic lupus erythematosus; abdominal tenderness of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; heart murmur of rheumatic fever or subacute bacterial endocarditis.
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count, ESR and CRP
    • Renal function tests and Electrolytes
    • ASO titre, if suspect rheumatic fever
    • Arthritis screen depending on suspicion including Rheumatoid factor, ANA and ENA antibodies, HLA-B27
    • Uric acid (marker of gout)
    • Coagulation profile
    • Blood cultures, if fever
    • Lyme disease serology
    • Iron studies, if suspect hemochromatosis
  • Urine tests
    • Urinalysis for blood, sugar and protein
    • 24 hour urinary uric acid, if suspect gout
  • Radiological examination
    • X-Ray of knee may show a fracture, osteoarthritis changes and punched out lesion of gout and pseudogout
    • MRI may be indicated to diagnose torn menisci or other conditions
    • Bone survey at times may be indicated
  • Mantoux test - if suspect tuberculosis.
  • Synovial fluid analysis and culture - should be done if there is sufficient joint fluid.
  • Urethral discharge smear and culture, if urethral discharge is present
  • Arthroscopic examination by an Orthopedic specialist may be necessary

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Knee symptoms:

Doctors use several methods to diagnose knee problems.

Medical history--The patient tells the doctor details about symptoms and about any injury, condition, or general health problem that might be causing the pain.

Physical examination--The doctor bends, straightens, rotates (turns), or presses on the knee to feel for injury and discover the limits of movement and the location of pain. The patient may be asked to stand, walk, or squat to help the doctor assess the knee's function.

Diagnostic tests--The doctor uses one or more tests to determine the nature of a knee problem.

  • X ray (radiography)--An x-ray beam is passed through the knee to produce a two-dimensional picture of the bones.

  • Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan--X rays lasting a fraction of a second are passed through the knee at different angles, detected by a scanner, and analyzed by a computer. This produces a series of clear cross-sectional images ("slices") of the knee tissues on a computer screen. CAT scan images show soft tissues such as ligaments or muscles more clearly than conventional x rays. The computer can combine individual images to give a three-dimensional view of the knee.

  • Bone scan (radionuclide scanning)--A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into the patient's bloodstream and detected by a scanner. This test detects blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone and can show abnormalities in these processes that may aid diagnosis.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)--Energy from a powerful magnet (rather than x rays) stimulates knee tissue to produce signals that are detected by a scanner and analyzed by a computer. This creates a series of cross-sectional images of a specific part of the knee. An MRI is particularly useful for detecting soft tissue damage or disease. Like a CAT scan, a computer is used to produce three-dimensional views of the knee during MRI.

  • Arthroscopy--The doctor manipulates a small, lighted optic tube (arthroscope) that has been inserted into the joint through a small incision in the knee. Images of the inside of the knee joint are projected onto a television screen. While the arthroscope is inside the knee joint, removal of loose pieces of bone or cartilage or the repair of torn ligaments and menisci is also possible.

  • Biopsy--The doctor removes tissue to examine under a microscope.
(Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Knee Problems: NIAMS)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Knee symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Knee symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Knee symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Knee symptoms' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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