The Difference Between Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis
Q: What's the difference between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis?
Dr. Donnica: One reason that osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are often confused is that they both begin with "osteo" meaning "bone". The other reason is that both
conditions are so prevalent in women over age 60 that many women have both
The word "osteoporosis" simply means "porous
bones". It is an age-related disease associated with a gradual thinning and
weakening of the bones. This can lead to an increase in fractures, usually in
the spine, hip or wrist. It basically has two root causes- not building enough
bone in the first place and loss of bone later in life, generally from the decreased
estrogen of menopause.
The term "arthritis" refers to an inflammation of the joints. There are now
known to be more than 100 types of arthritis. Five of those account for nine
out of ten cases: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia,
lupus, and gout. Two of the most common types of arthritis, both of which are
very common in women, are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis
is generally a result of wear and tear, aging or injury to the joints. It is
very commonly associated with aging.
For more information on osteoporosis, click here.
For more information on osteoarthritis, click here.
Created: 10/4/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.