abilityclinicstage_53lbl2  .  Jan 31

Osteoarthritis versus osteoarthrosis

“Osteoarthritis” and “osteoarthrosis”are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe

the same condition. Both terms refer to a degenerative joint disease characterized by the reakdown of cartilage in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. However, there is a subtle difference in how these terms are used in medical literature.

Osteoarthritis (OA):


  • Osteoarthritis is the more commonly used and widely accepted term. It refers to a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates over time.


  • OA is characterized by the gradual loss of cartilage, the formation of bony outgrowths called osteophytes, and inflammation of the synovial membrane. These changes can lead to joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.


  • “Osteoarthritis” is the preferred term in most medical literature and clinical settings. It is recognized by major medical organizations and is used in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding system.



  • Osteoarthrosis is an older term that has been historically used to describe the same degenerative joint disease as osteoarthritis. The suffix "-osis" typically implies a non-inflammatory, degenerative condition.


  • Like osteoarthritis, osteoarthrosis involves the breakdown of cartilage, the formation of osteophytes, and joint changes associated with aging and wear and tear.


  • While "osteoarthrosis" was used more frequently in the past, it has become less common in modern medical literature. However, in some contexts, especially in older research or literature, you may still encounter the term.


In practical terms, osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis refer to the same degenerative joint disease, and the choice of terminology often depends on regional preferences, historical usage, or individual medical professionals. The modern trend is to use "osteoarthritis" more consistently, and it is the term preferred by contemporary medical guidelines and classifications. Whether referred to as osteoarthritis or osteoarthrosis, the condition involves the degeneration of joint cartilage and is a common cause of joint pain and disability, particularly in older individuals.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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