The doctor assesses the mobility of the joint and the condition of the muscles surrounding the joint. He looks for the presence of fluid in the joint and the presence of inflammatory signs.
- Joint mobility reflects joint stiffness.
Muscle wasting (atrophy) is a consequence of stiffness because less mobility leads to less activity.
Muscular stiffness and atrophy should receive treatment (rehabilitation exercises with or without the assistance of a physiotherapist).
- Looking for the first “inflammatory” signs (fluid in the joint, peri-articular heat) is essential for the early management of any “flare-up” of osteoarthritis.