Pseudogout is a form of arthritis that affects people over age 60. Learn more from WebMD about pain treatment for arthritis, causes, and treatments.
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It can affect one or several joints at once. The cause of abnormal deposits of CPP crystals in cartilage is unknown. They may form due to abnormal cells in the cartilage, or they may be produced as the result of another disease that damages cartilage. CPP crystals may be released from cartilage during a sudden illness, joint injury, or surgery. The abnormal formation of CPP crystals also may be a hereditary trait. Most symptoms of pseudogout go away within 5 days to a few weeks, even without treatment. Pseudogout affects both men and women.
It is unusual for young people to develop pseudogout. The initial attack may last a few days to a few weeks unless it is treated. Unlike with gout, which is linked to excessive alcohol consumption and a diet high in seafood and organ meats, pseudogout attacks are not linked to certain foods in your diet. Over time, pseudogout attacks may increase, involve more joints, cause more severe symptoms, and last longer. The frequency of attacks is variable. Attacks may occur from once every few weeks to less than once a year. Frequent, repeated attacks can damage the affected joints.
To diagnose the condition, fluid is removed from the inflamed joint and analyzed under a microscope. The presence of CPP crystals indicates pseudogout. Fluid is removed through a needle from the inflamed joint in a procedure called «arthrocentesis. Removing the fluid also may help reduce the pressure within the joint and thereby reduce pain.
Steroids also work by decreasing inflammation and can be injected into the affected joint or given as pills. Anti-inflammatory medications are usually continued until the pseudogout attack subsides. Symptoms are often relieved within 24 hours after treatment has begun. If side effects occur, the medication may be changed. The American College of Rhuematology. Osteoarthritis: Do You Need a Doctor?
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