A doctor's examination and tests determine if your foot problems are related to arthritis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. During a physical exam, the doctor checks the foot for tenderness and swelling and asks about the pain.
The doctor may ask if you remember when the pain started and if the foot sustained an injury, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. She may also check your footwear and have you walk to measure your gait and check if and how you limp. The doctor then orders X-rays of the foot, which shows changes to the bone if arthritis is present. If the X-rays show arthritic changes, she may order blood tests to determine the type of arthritis.