Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During a physical exam, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and look for noticeable swelling or lumps on your joints.

Your doctor might hold your joint while moving your thumb, with pressure, against your wrist bone. If this movement produces a grinding sound, or causes pain or a gritty feeling, the cartilage has likely worn down, and the bones are rubbing against each other.

Imaging techniques, usually X-rays, can reveal signs of thumb arthritis, including:

  • Bone spurs
  • Worn-down cartilage
  • Loss of joint space
May 14, 2015

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