Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the difference between osteoporosis and arthritis?

    I’ve just been diagnosed with osteoporosis but I don’t understand the difference between osteoporosis and arthritis. My understanding is that both affect the bones and joints. Is this correct?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Elodie Williams

    Exercise Physiologist

    I am passionate about the use of exercise to help prevent and manage chronic disease and conditions. I have been working with older adults for … View Profile

    Osteoporosis: affects the bone. The bones become fragile and brittle and are more susceptible to fracturing.

    Osteoarthritis: affects the joint (the point at which 2 or more bones meet). There is degeneration of the cartilage (smooth covering over the ends of the bones). This degeneration leads to a reduction in the space in the joints which can lead to pain, stiffness and reduced joint range of motion.

    Osteoporosis Australia is a good website:

  • 1




    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    Thanks for your question!

    Generally speaking, osteoporosis affects the bone, and arthritis affects the joints. They are two different conditions that may co-exist.

    Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones are weak and prone to breaking. Often osteoporosis is diagnosed after a person sustains a fracture with minimal trauma (such as a simple trip and fall).

    Arthritis is a condition where the smooth articular cartilage that covers the ends of the bones is gradually destroyed. The end result is that bare bone ends rub against each other, which causes pain and stiffness at the joints. The term “arthritis” covers a variety of different conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.

    For information about arthritis affecting the hand and wrist please visit the Melbourne Hand Surgery website.

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Ask a health question

Empowering Australians to make better health choices