What are the different types of arthritis?

Charles S. Rutherford, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
The different types of arthritis are classified into three broad categories. The first type is osteoarthritis, the most common type, and that's just the plain old wear-and-tear arthritis. It's just a plain old wearing out of a joint.

The second most common type is inflammatory arthritis. This includes rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. These are different. Osteoarthritis is just a mechanical wearing, whereas inflammatory arthritis is actually disease that eats up the joint. It's very important to get a diagnosis early because inflammatory arthritis needs to be treated medically to stop its rapid progression.

Finally, traumatic arthritis is where a person has trauma to the joint, such as a fracture. It heals, but the joint may not heal perfectly smooth, so it will wear out with use over time. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.