The Difference Between Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis

Although they sound almost the same, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are two very different conditions.

Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease. If you have osteoporosis, your bones become weak and brittle, causing you to be at greater risk for bone fractures.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which is inflammation and deterioration of your joints. Osteoarthritis is the result of every day wear and tear, and is most common in older adults.

Managing Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. The painful joint degeneration can affect large joints such as the knee, hip, neck and lower back.

In healthy joints, your cartilage provides cushioning that acts as a shock absorber and allows bones to move smoothly over each other. Arthritis causes that cartilage to break down, leading to bone spurs and grinding and wear and tear on joints that make it difficult for you to move without pain.

You are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis as you age. It is more common in women and in those with a family history of the disease. Although you can’t prevent aging, you can take steps to reduce your risk of osteoarthritis, including:


Lack of exercise has been shown to shrink cartilage and cause stress on your joints. Staying active is your best form of prevention.

Avoiding Falls

Take steps to reduce your risk of falls and avoid a traumatic injury. Even if repaired, trauma can change the way you walk and shift your weight, weakening muscles in the process.

Losing weight

Overweight individuals who lose just 5% of body weight experience at least 25% reduction in symptoms of osteoarthritis

If you do have osteoarthritis, your doctor can help you manage your pain with medical and surgical options, including total joint replacement.

Meet Your Non-Surgical Orthopedic Doctors

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Schedule an appointment with Sports Medicine

Call (859) 212-5600 for a treatment plan tailored to you.

Surgical Options

If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at askortho@stelizabeth.com.