Other bone conditions

Some medical conditions that are very different from osteoporosis have similar names or share the same causes, symptoms or treatments, and this can cause confusion.


This is a different condition from osteoporosis and affects the joints in the body, causing them to become damaged. This can lead to pain, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. Hips, knees and knuckles can be affected and so can joints in the spine. Both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis occur more commonly as people age. In people with osteoporosis, symptoms of back pain may sometimes be due to the presence of osteoarthritis. For more information see our factsheet

Further Information on Osteoarthritis

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS affects a hand, foot, wrist, ankle or knee but can spread up a whole limb. It may result in significant pain and disability. Loss of bone density in the affected area may occur as part of the syndrome. Although often triggered by a minor injury or previous broken bone, the reason for the continuous pain is poorly understood. Sometimes pain is traced to a specific nerve injury but sometimes not. Osteoporosis related to CRPS is, however, a localised problem and does not result in general osteoporosis. For more information see our factsheet 

Further Information on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Osteogenesis imperfecta

Often called ‘brittle bone disease’, osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disorder of collagen, the protein that forms the framework for the minerals in bones. The collagen may be of poor quality, or there may not be enough to support the mineral structure of the bones. This results in a number of problems including bones becoming brittle and breaking easily. For more information see our factsheet 

Further Information on Osteogenesis imperfecta