Objective to compare the combined role of genetic variants loci associated with risk of knee or hip osteoarthritis (OA) in post-traumatic (PT) and non-traumatic (NT) cases of clinically severe OA leading to total joint replacement. Methods A total of 1590 controls, 2168 total knee replacement (TKR) cases (33.2% PT) and 1567 total hip replacement (THR) cases (8.7% PT) from 2 UK cohorts were genotyped for 12 variants previously reported to be reproducibly associated with risk of knee or hip OA. A genetic risk score was generated and the association with PT and NT TKR and THR was assessed adjusting for covariates. Results For THR, each additional genetic risk variant conferred lower risk among PT cases (OR=1.07, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.19; p=0.24) than NT cases (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.17; p=1.55×10−5). In contrast, for TKR, each risk variant conferred slightly higher risk among PT cases (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.19; p=1.82×10−5) than among NT cases (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.1; p=0.00063). Conclusions Based on the variants reported to date PT TKR cases have at least as high a genetic contribution as NT cases.