Is Chondrosis the Same as Osteoarthritis?

Is Chondrosis the Same as Osteoarthritis

Do you have joint pain, stiffness, or swelling that interferes with your everyday activities and well-being? You may have developed chondrosis or osteoarthritis.

Now a question arises: Is chondrosis the same as osteoarthritis? Most people call chondrosis as osteoarthritis because both conditions affect the joint’s cartilage. However, they are not entirely the same. Chondrosis affects joint cartilage, while osteoarthritis affects the whole joint and its surrounding parts.

This blog post will go over what chondrosis and osteoarthritis are, how to diagnose them, and what you can do to manage them. You will better understand these joint issues and how they affect your health and quality of life.

So, Continue Reading!

What is Chondrosis?

Chondrosis is a disorder that affects the cartilage, the soft and flexible tissue that covers the ends of the bones in the joints. Cartilage cushions the bones and allows for smooth mobility. Chondrosis happens when joint cartilage worsens or breaks because of injury, overuse, or aging. It might result in joint stiffness, discomfort, inflammation, and decreased mobility.

Chondrosis can affect every joint, although it is most prevalent in the hands, neck, lower back, hips, and knees. These joints carry the most weight and stress and are prone to wear and tear over time

Understanding Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disorder that affects the joints, which are the points where bones come together and move. Osteoarthritis is when cartilage, the smooth substance that protects bones in joints, breaks down.

Osteoarthritis affects the entire joint and its surrounding components, not the cartilage. Osteoarthritis leads to bone spurs that can impact joint function, says the National Institute of Health. It can also affect the synovial membrane, lubricating the joint space, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

How Chondrosis and Osteoarthritis are Different

Many people often see chondrosis vs osteoarthritis as the same because they both affect cartilage. But certain aspects distinguish them from each other. These include,

  1. Chondrosis occurs as a result of joint stress, injury, or sports activity. Osteoarthritis happens when joints wear out because of factors like age, obesity, genetics, or misuse.
  2. Both conditions have similar symptoms. However, there is a difference between them. Chondrosis occurs when cartilage forms abnormally. On the other hand, osteoarthritis is the breakdown of joint cartilage.
  3. Chondrosis can develop in young people and is treatable if caught early and adequately. Osteoarthritis is common in older people and worsens over time.

Also read, Is osteoarthritis really a disability?

Finding Out If You Have Them

Diagnosing chondrosis and osteoarthritis is essential for managing them well and determining the proper treatment and prognosis. It also helps patients understand the risk factors and lifestyle modifications to help them live better.

1. Physical Exam

During the diagnosis of chondrosis and osteoarthritis, a physical exam is the first diagnostic approach doctors employ. The doctors check the joints for signs of swelling, tenderness, redness, and reduced mobility. They also ask about the history of the joint problems.

diagnosis of chondrosis and osteoarthritis

2. Imaging Test

Imaging tests show the complete picture of the internal condition of the affected joint. The two most widely used imaging tests are X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

  • X-rays help to detect osteoarthritis at early stages. An x-ray during chondrosis doesn’t show any results.
  • MRI shows severe joint damage in osteoarthritis and can identify cartilage damage in chondrosis.

Depending on the joint condition, experts can even employ various other procedures, such as blood tests and CT scans.

Treatment Option for Osteoarthritis and Chondrosis


There is no cure for osteoarthritis and chondrosis. However, there are ways you can opt to manage the conditions effectively.

1. Lifestyle Changes

Osteoarthritis: Maintain a healthy weight to reduce joint stress.

Chondrosis: Prioritize joint-friendly activities such as low-impact aerobics.

2. Medications

Over-the-counter medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can ease early symptoms of osteoarthritis and chondrosis.

3. Physical Therapy

Osteoarthritis: Perform workouts that strengthen the muscles around the afflicted joints.

Chondrosis: Engage in yoga, tai chi, and balanced training to support and protect cartilage.

4. Joint Injections

Doctors recommend corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid injections when joint health has been significantly demolished. These injections reduce pain and improve joint mobility by lubricating them.

5. Surgery

Osteoarthritis: Consider joint replacement for severely damaged joints.

Chondrosis: Look in arthroscopic surgery for repairing or replacing damaged joints.

6. Dietary Supplements

Doctors may recommend glucosamine or chondroitin in both cases to promote cartilage health.

7. Pain Management Techniques

You can employ heat or cold therapy or pain management measures specific to the affected joint.

Also read, Does physical therapy help osteoarthritis of the knee?

Take Control of Your Joint Health with SNS?

Are you ready for better joints?

At SNS, we offer tailored solutions for your joint problems. Schedule an appointment to get professional advice and begin on the path to a happier and healthier life.

Wrapping Up

Is chondrosis the same as osteoarthritis? Chondrosis and osteoarthritis affect joint cartilage, but they are different conditions. Chondrosis is the abnormal cartilage formation, while osteoarthritis is the complete degeneration of joint cartilage.

In case you are confused about both of them, read the article. If you are suffering from any of the disorders, consult an expert rheumatologist for cutting-edge treatment.

Dr. Qaisar Usmani

Meet Dr. Qaisar Usmani, a Board Certified Rheumatologist with over 20 years of experience in the field, currently serving as Section Chief at Monmouth Medical Center and GPHA, Inc. in Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of various Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases.

Dr. Sadia Ghafoor
Dr. Sadia Ghafoor

Meet Dr. Sadia Ghafoor, a board certified specialist in rheumatology who completed her medical training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine and her fellowship in rheumatology at the State University of New York Stony Brook campus, with additional board certification in internal medicine.

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