The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is made based on clinical examination, x-rays, and lab tests. Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how the disease has affected your activities. Rheumatoid arthritis may have a hereditary component, thus your physician will ask whether other family members have had rheumatoid arthritis or symptoms similar to yours. Your doctor will do a detailed examination of your hands. The clinical appearance helps to diagnose the specific type of arthritis. X-rays are often helpful; certain findings are characteristic for rheumatoid arthritis.
For more information from the ASSH please click here.