Clinical examination of patients with joint inflammation in primary health care

Septic arthritis should be diagnosed and treated as a medical emergency in the nearest hospital. Causes requiring specific treatment should be excluded within a time span of 2 weeks. All cases of suspected rheumatoid arthritis must be referred for specialist health care without delay. Gout can be diagnosed and the treatment started in primary health care. Osteoarthritis is principally treated in primary health care, and it should be differentiated from inflammatory joint conditions . Polyarthritis of recent onset should initially be considered as rheumatoid in origin. Laboratory tests, other than inflammatory parameters and rheumatoid factor (RF), should be requested with restraint. Imaging studies often confirm diagnosis. Local care pathways should be observed.