Diagnosis of Shoulder Arthritis
So, what if you have the symptoms and risk factors mentioned above and you are now suspecting shoulder arthritis? If that’s the case, it is good to know what your doctor will do to diagnose this condition.
The first step in diagnosing shoulder arthritis is to have a complete medical history. This should include your symptoms and the possible risk factors, such as your past medical history. After your doctor takes your medical history, they will ask plenty of questions to determine what symptoms you have and characterize them as accurately as possible. This is an important step, and we need absolute honesty to get an accurate diagnosis.
After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination of your shoulder. You may need to remove your shirt for this part of the interview. One of the most important elements of the physical exam is checking your range of motion (ROM). Your doctor may also ask you to perform certain movements and see what you can do. If that happens, don’t work against the pain and inform the doctor when the pain starts.
In some cases, the diagnosis is not yet clear, and doctors need to run some tests. The most common imaging test is an X-ray of the shoulder to see the space between the bone ends and assess the separation of the bones. In some cases, doctors will also inject anesthetics inside the joint. If that relieves shoulder pain, the diagnosis is confirmed.