Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic bone and joint disease characterized by articular cartilage degeneration and joint inflammation and is the most common form of arthritis. The clinical manifestations of OA are chronic pain and joint activity disorder, which severely affect the patient quality of life. Long non‑coding RNA (lncRNA) is a class of RNA molecules >200 nucleotides long that are expressed in animals, plants, yeast, prokaryotes and viruses. lncRNA molecules lack an open reading frame and are not translated into protein. The present review collated the results of recent studies on the role of lncRNA in the pathogenesis of OA to provide information for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of OA.