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What Is Pseudogout?


The first part of the name of this ailment says it all: “pseudo.” Although the condition is similar to that of gout, it is in fact a form of arthritis that causes quick, uncomfortable swelling in one or more joints. Clinically, the ailment is known as CPPD – calcium pyrophosphate deposition.

Mystery Crystals

Pseudogout is caused by a specific form of small salt crystals, which gets into the fluid that lubricates joints and causes, as a result, pain and inflammation. Amazingly, researchers have still not figured out exactly how or why these crystals form. Nor can they be easily removed. Instead, sufferers of pseudogout must rely on other ways to reduce the pain in their knees, angles, wrists, and-or elbows.

Pseudogout treatments include standard pain relief medicine such as Advil or Ibuprofen; Colchicine, a good medical alternative for patients who cannot take the aforementioned non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; and joint fluid removal. The process of a needle being injected into the affected joint and then the fluid being aspired out is a common procedure for professional athletes, especially in the NBA, as a stop-gap measure to delay any more serious surgery or sidelining absence from the game.

Causal Connections Among Younger Patients

Although pseudogout is condition that mainly affects the elderly, it can also hobble younger men and women, especially those who suffer from one or more of the following conditions: the chronic metabolic disorder acromelagy; an excess of iron known as hemochromatosis; the rare urological disorder alkaptonuria; parathyroid and thyroid disease; and the hereditary Wilson’s disease, which leads to a surplus of copper in the liver and nervous system.

In addition to being possibly confused with regular arthritis or gout, pseudogout is sometimes misdiagnosed as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The good news is that even when the wrong treatment is accidentally prescribed and followed, it generally does not cause irreparable harm. X-rays can also help isolate the seriousness of the affliction, which is most commonly experienced as a very sudden pain in one particular joint.



Mayo Clinic – Pseudogout, Retrieved April 6, 2011 from Clinic – Pseudogout Treatments and

Drugs, Retrieved April 6, 2011 from

National Institutes of Health – Pseudogout, Retrieved April 6, 2011 from

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