Perhimpunan Reumatologi Indonesia
Indonesian Rheumatology Association

Calcification of Joints and Bone Loss, How to tell the difference?


The term joint calcification is a mistake in today’s society. The use of this inaccurate term results in the wrong meaning, such as & nbsp; “ don’t eat calcium, it will cause more calcification in the joints and cause pain” or “don’t drink milk later, calcification of the joints” , while bone loss is a different disease. People know “porous bones” but what exactly happened to the bones? & Nbsp; This paper will discuss about these two things.

Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis

Although osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are distinctly different, these two terms often confuse patients, because they both use the term “osteo” which means bone. Below we briefly summarize the differences. In fact a person can experience both at once, as both are common in older people and especially women.

How to distinguish osteoarthritis from osteoporosis?

DefinitionOsteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. Occurs as a result of degenerative processes, joints become worn. The joint cartilage thinens / wears out, causing damage to the bones underneath the cartilage.Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. Bone loss occurs, so that bone strength is reduced due to reduced bone mass quality and quantity. People with osteoporosis are at risk for fractures
SymptompsOsteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness and reduced range of motion in the joints. OA mainly affects the joints of the knees, hips, spine and fingers.Osteoporosis is also called the “stealth thief” because it can progress without causing symptoms until a fracture occurs. When bones become very porous, they break easily. The pelvis, spine and forearm are the most common sites for osteoporosis to fracture.
DiagnosisOsteoarthritis is diagnosed based on a history of the disease, a physical examination by a doctor and x-rays of the affected joint.Osteoporosis is diagnosed through a bone mineral density (BMD) test.
Risk factorsFamily history, physical activity, excess body weight, and overuse / trauma history.Low bone mass density, is a risk for fractures. Other risk factors are old age, previous history of fractures, close family history of osteoporosis, history of falls, use of certain medications that can cause osteoporosis such as corticosteroids.
TherapyOsteoarthritis can be treated using joint protection, reducing the load on the joint, exercise, medications to reduce pain, and lose weight. In joints that are badly damaged by osteoarthritis, the treatment option is surgery, replacing them with new joints.Osteoporosis can be treated with lifestyle changes and medication to reduce the progression of osteoporosis. Diet (enough calcium and vitamin D), physical exercise using weights to increase muscle and bone strength, and prevent falls. If a fracture occurs due to osteoporosis it usually requires replacement surgery for the broken bone.

dr. Laniyati Hamijoyo SpPD-KR, MKes

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine

Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran / Hasan Sadikin Hospital

Bandung / West Java