A 10-step check of how a person walks can easily pick up tell-tale signs of arthritis, experts have said.
If action is taken before the disease fully grabs hold it could revolutionise the lives of many patients.
The test, which monitors a person’s walking pattern, was developed by experts at the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, Essex, the Daily Express reported.
1,678 adults, with an average age of 61 took part in this breakthrough study.
Dr Rajshree Mootanah, director of the Medical Engineering Research Group at Anglia Ruskin University, said that people with osteoarthritis in one knee are more likely to compensate for the affected limb by reducing the length of time from when their heel hits the floor to the lifting of their toes.
It is unusual for the disease to be of the same severity on both sides, she believes that GPs can be trained to spot these signs as a matter of course when patients of a certain age walk into their surgery.
This can help the GPs to detect and treat knee osteoarthritis earlier and therefore delay the need for costly and invasive knee replacement surgery.