Arthritis, due to trauma, substantiated by X-ray findings

Arthritis due to trauma

Post-traumatic arthritis is inflammation in your joints that forms after you’ve experienced a trauma. It develops quickly after an injury instead of over years of wear and tear like other forms of arthritis.

Areas where it may occur

Certain body parts are more likely to develop post-traumatic arthritis than others. These include the:

  • ankle
  • knee
  • shoulder
  • hip


  • swelling
  • synovial effusion, or joint inflammation
  • severe pain
  • sometimes internal bleeding
  • Bone spurs 
  • Cracking or grating sound (crepitus) when the joint moves 



Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury to a joint. These can include: 

  • Automobile accidents 
  • Falls 
  • Sports injuries 
  • Post-traumatic arthritis can happen after many types of injuries, including fractures, ligament damage (sprains), muscle or tendon damage (strains) or injuries to cartilage, such as meniscus tears. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis develops in 20 to 50 percent or more of cases of joint injuries. 

How to diagnose Arthritis due to trauma?

  • X-rays: An X-ray will confirm how damaged the bones in your joint are.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans can show soft tissue, including damage to articular cartilage. These can also be useful in ruling out other causes of pain, such as ligament, tendon or muscle damage. 
  • Blood tests: Occasionally, blood tests may be ordered to check for evidence of inflammatory sources of joint pain such as rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Synovial fluid examinations to differentiate between different kinds of arthritis

Note (1): The 20 pct and 10 pct ratings based on X-ray findings, above, will not be combined with ratings based on limitation of motion.

Note(2): The 20 pct and 10 pct ratings based on X-ray findings, above, will not be utilized in  rating conditions listed under diagnostic code  5013 to 5024, inclusive.

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