No generally accepted definition of osteoarthritis exists. Traditionally, the diagnosis is obtained by radiographic examination but different definitions are used for different purposes. Since no causal treatment exists, treatment is aiming at reducing symptoms and improving function. The correlation between radiographic features of osteoarthritis and symptoms is poor. Thus, it is recommended that in the early and moderate stages the diagnosis osteoarthritis be obtained through clinical examination. Radiographs should be obtained when other serious pathologies are suspected or when operative procedures are being discussed.