What is the main difference between bone spurs and osteoarthritis?

Big difference. Bone spurs occur at the margins of the joint while osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the cartilage surfaces in the joint. Bone spurs are normally harbingers of osteoarthrits although it is possible to have oa without bone spur formation. It is unclear exactly why bone spurs form around arthritic joints. It is uncommon to develop bone spurs around non arthritic joints.
They "go together" Bone spurs are simply one manifestation of osteoarthritis as it becomes progressively worse. Symptoms inlude intermittent or constant joint swelling and concomitant pain, ocassional catching or locking, difficulty walking, and eventualloss of overall joint function.

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