PseudogoutView All Arthritis Types
Pseudogout results from a build up of calcium crystals (calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate) in a joint. The joint reacts to the calcium crystals by becoming inflamed. The calcium deposits and chronic inflammation can cause parts of the joint structure to weaken and break down. Cartilage, the tough elastic material that cushions the ends of the bones, can begin to crack and get holes in it. Bits of cartilage may break off into the joint space and irritate soft tissues, such as muscles, and cause problems with movement.
The word 'pseudogout' actually means 'fake' or 'imitation gout.' Like the disease gout, pseudogout can come on as sudden, recurrent attacks of pain and swelling in a single joint. Gout is also caused by the build-up of crystals within a joint. However, gout is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals, rather than the calcium crystals. Gout usually attacks the big toe, while pseudogout most often attacks the knee.
View All Arthritis Types