Your medical history and current medical
condition help your doctor diagnose
rheumatoid arthritis. To assess your medical history,
your doctor may ask:
During the physical exam, your doctor
may look at, feel, and move each joint and evaluate it for:
During the exam, your doctor may also
do a routine evaluation of the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys.
The medical history and physical
exam are routine parts of any medical evaluation.
Important findings in the physical exam
Rheumatoid arthritis often causes painful, swollen, "hot"
joints and often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Your doctor will note the location of affected joints, as well as other
symptoms, to find out whether your condition meets the
criteria for a diagnosis of rheumatoid
Physical findings are an important
part of the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and are also used to evaluate the
success of treatment.
Complete the medical test information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this test.
June 5, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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