Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Osteoporosis

Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Osteoporosis

It’s very much understandable if you get confused between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. After all, they are both diseases of the bone and they sound so similar. But beyond that one similarity, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are totally different bone diseases.


To put it in the simplest way, let me take and example from your daily life experiences. The old people having trouble in movement because of their knee pain, probably are suffering from osteoarthritis. The weak bones in elderly women for which dairy companies make special calcium-rich milk for women, are caused due to osteoporosis.

But let’s dig a little deeper and know what are the major differences between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

  • Osteoarthritis  is a degenerative disease that affects your joints. It gradually erodes your cartilages which surround your bones. And then it attacks the underlying bones as well.
  • Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become ‘porous’ as they lose bone density.
  • So, basically, osteoarthritis is a joint disease whereas osteoporosis affects all of your skeletal structure.
  • Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear disease. It occurs when you overwork a particular joint. For example, we put a lot of stress on our knees; hence, knees are affected the most.
  • Osteoporosis occurs when your body fails to form new bone tissue at the same rate at which old bone tissue is reabsorbed by the body.
  • Clearly, osteoarthritis first hits the hip joint or knee joint and then the smaller joints. But osteoporosis affects all the bones at the same time and then deteriorates over time.
  • Lack of certain hormones, like estrogen in women and androgen in men, causes osteoporosis. Deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D also leads to bone loss. Osteoarthritis is caused when you put too much pressure on a joint. Obesity is one of the factors which increase stress on your bones since they have to bear the load of more weight. Hence, osteoarthritis is very common among obese people.
  • Osteoporosis invades and eats your bones silently. In fact, often until someone suffers from a fracture, osteoporosis remains undetected. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, gives loud and clear signals. Pain and swelling will increase as the situation deteriorates for the major joints like hip and knees. However, the symptoms in the smaller joints are subtle and easy to overlook.
  • Osteoarthritis might lead to disability. In fact, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Osteoporosis makes your bones more vulnerable to fracture.
  • Osteoarthritis affects both men and women. Although it is more prevalent in women. Osteoporosis, though affects men as well, it is exponentially more found in women. However, once affected by osteoporosis, the rate of death due  to fracture in men is more than in women.
  • A bone mineral density test is used to diagnose osteoporosis. An X-ray test can reveal the status of osteoarthritis.
  • Vitamin supplements and medicines can be used to cure osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises also help. But, any fracture caused due to osteoporosis need to be treated surgically. Osteoarthritis, unfortunately, cannot be undone without a replacement surgery. But if the condition is detected at an early stage, the degeneration can be stopped by reducing the stress on the joint and with some medicines.

Despite of all the differences, there is one more thing common between the two diseases – they both can be prevented with proper diet and healthy maintenance of your skeletal health!

Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis


Sai Sanjeevini Multi Speciality Hospitals A Unit Of Singapanga Healthcare Pvt. Ltd Has Been Providing Health Services To The People In Need For The Last 14 Years. This Health Care Organisation Combines Practical, Proven Research, Cutting Edge Procedures And State-of-the-art Treatment To Produce Excellent Medical And Lifestyle Outcome For Our Patients. We also have a wide array of specialties including PulmonologyNeurology, Gynecology and are pioneers among all Orthopedic Hospital in Hyderabad.