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Is Osteoarthritis the same as Osteoporosis?

Is Osteoarthritis the same as Osteoporosis?

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By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

This was the question I was asked.

To a rheumatologist, the answer is obvious. But, this was a reminder that medical terminology remains confusing for the general public.

In this day and age, general knowledge about the body and medical diseases is probably as high as it has even been. However, doctors, myself include, need to remain mindful that there is great variability in the level of knowledge between different patients.

For the record, the answer is NO.

Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis are different conditions.

Osteoarthritis refers to degenerative joint disease, and this typically relates to loss of cartilage at the ends of bones with associated degeneration of the surrounding tissues.

Osteoporosis refers to the bones actually becoming more brittle and fragile, with a higher risk of fracture.

Do you find medical terminology confusing?

Are there rheumatology terms you would like explained?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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