Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease involving cartilage loss. It develops over time due to wear and tear. Osteoarthrosis is another term for OA.

Osteoarthrosis is another term for the degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis (OA). For this article, we will use OA to refer to osteoarthritis.

This article will examine the difference between osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis, the symptoms of osteoarthrosis, and the risk factors.

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OA is a degenerative joint disease commonly occurring in the knees, hips, and hands but can also affect other joints.

OA involves the breakdown of cartilage over time. When there is no more cartilage, the bone may begin to rub on bone. This results in pain, stiffness, and swelling. People may also experience reduced joint function.

Osteoarthritis is somewhat poorly named since “-itis” implies the presence of inflammation. However, OA does not involve inflammation. Therefore, a better term for the condition is osteoarthrosis, which means joint degeneration.

Osteoarthrosis also involves degeneration of cartilage in the joint and changes to the adjoining bone. It leads to pain, stiffness in the morning, and an inclination for the joint to gel without use. Much of the literature addressing osteoarthrosis is older, as osteoarthritis has replaced the term more recently.

It is essential to distinguish these terms from arthritis involving inflammation because there are inflammatory forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. These types of arthritis develop when the immune system attacks the body, particularly the synovium, which lines the joints.

To diagnose OA, a doctor will perform a physical exam, ask for a family history, and collect information about a person’s symptoms and medical history. The diagnostic process may also involve X-rays and other imaging or lab tests.

With OA, symptoms may come on gradually or quickly. Some people refer to it as wear and tear arthritis as it commonly occurs in joints like the hands, hips, and knees. Symptoms may include:

  • pain and aching in a joint
  • stiffness in a joint
  • decreased range of motion or flexibility
  • swelling in a joint

As the damage progresses, pain, swelling, and stiffness may occur. Eventually, this can lead to muscle weakness, which places further stress on the joint. In addition, small bony growths called osteophytes or bone spurs can develop on the edges of the joint.

Pieces of cartilage can break off and float freely in the joint space, causing additional pain and damage.

Inflammatory arthritis is another form of arthritis that involves inflammation. There are several types of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Symptoms of inflammatory arthritis may be localized to joints or systemic, which means it occurs throughout the body. These include:

  • swelling, tenderness, and warmth in joints
  • morning stiffness in joints
  • skin rashes
  • eye inflammation
  • hair loss
  • dry mouth
  • fever

There is no cure for OA, so the goal of OA treatment is symptom management and preventing the condition’s progression. While an individual may want to avoid physical activity due to pain, maintaining activity may keep muscles surrounding the joint strong.

Exercise is the best nonmedicinal treatment for controlling pain and improving range of motion with arthritis.

Treatment may include:

  • increasing physical activity
  • physical therapy, including muscle-strengthening exercises
  • weight loss medications
  • supportive medical devices
  • surgery

The following can increase a person’s risk for OA:

  • joint overuse or injury
  • age, as middle-aged and older adults are more likely to develop OA than young people
  • sex, since after 50, females are more likely to develop OA than men
  • a family history of OA

Osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis are different terms that describe noninflammatory, degenerative joint disease. OA can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion.

The goal for treating both conditions is pain relief and preservation of joint health. A doctor may recommend exercise, braces, shoe inserts, or physical therapy to relieve symptoms.