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Chondrocalcinosis (also called pseudogout) is a type of crystal arthropathy, like gout. The term crystal arthropathy means that crystals of a chemical are precipitating and depositing in the joint, leading to inflammation.

In this disease there is deposition of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in the joint cartilage and the tissue around the joint. Shedding of the crystals into the joint produces an acute inflamed joint though pseudogout commonly involves the knee and wrist as opposed to gout which affects the big toe commonly. In pseudogout there can be gradual destruction of the joint as well.


  • Joint pain
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Joint Swelling

  • Cause:
    The cause of the condition is not known, though there are certain risk factors...
    ..........intercurrent illness
    (causing increased calcium in the blood)
    ..........myxoedema, diabetes mellitus
    ..........decreased phosphate or decreased magnesium
    ..........any arthritis

    As mentioned before, no treatment will abolish the condition. Hence treatment is mainly symptomatic with:

  • NSAIDs. (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Colchicine may be used
  • Aspiration of the joint will often relieve pain
  • If infection is excluded - a steroid injection into the joint will also help
  • Drugs used in the treatment of this disease:

      Piroxicam (Feldene)
      Piroxicam (GenRx Piroxicam Dispersible Tablets)
      Triamcinolone acetonide (Kenacort-A)
      Naproxen (Naprosyn)

    Chondrocalcinosis occurs most often in women older than age 50. It can be associated with:

  • Overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)
  • Too much iron in the body (hemochromatosis)
  • An inherited metabolic bone disease (hypophosphatasia)
  • Low blood levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia)
  • An inherited disease in which too much copper accumulates in the body (Wilson's disease)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes

  • A doctor may confirm a diagnosis of chondrocalcinosis by X-rays of affected joints. Blood tests may also be done to rule out other diseases, such as osteoarthritis. Treatment depends on the severity of signs and symptoms but may include:

  • Injections of corticosteroids directly into the joint
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or indomethacin (Indocin, others)
  • Prednisone or colchicine for flares of pseudogout
  • Surgery, in severe cases

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    ...less medical jargon in a 'Quick Glance' format!