Great question, Linda. Even we rheumatologists often have trouble distinguishing the two. Osteoarthritis is thought of as a wearing away of cartilage with aging, which in the long terms can result in need for joint replacement due to chronic pain. Although there may be a little inflammation in the joints, this is not a big component of the disease. Psoriatic arthritis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory condition in which the joints become inflamed and damaged as a result of inflammation. It is usually associated with psoriasis, a scaly skin condition that can range from one or two patches to diffuse involvement of the body. The treatments for the two conditions are very different, so a correct diagnosis if key. Usually there is not too much trouble telling the apart, but sometimes because both cause bone spurs, they can look somewhat similar.
Psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis
November 8, 2009 By
What is the difference between Osteoarthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis?