Pseudogout is a form of arthritis that leads to the spontaneous, sore swelling in the joints. This occurs once crystals form in the synovial fluid which results to pain and inflammation. The condition typically affects the knee but can also affect the elbows, ankles and wrists.
The symptoms of pseudogout can last for a few days up to several weeks. It is quite common among the older adults. Even though the disease could not be prevented, there are treatment options to alleviate the pain and inflammation.
Possible causes of pseudogout
Pseudogout develops once the calcium pyrophosphate crystals build-up in the synovial fluid in the joints. These crystals also deposit in the cartilage where they can cause damage. The accumulation of crystals in the joint fluid results to swollen joints and acute pain.
It is still not fully understood why the crystals form. The likelihood of them to form might increase with age. The condition might often run in families which is why it is believed to be a genetic condition. The other contributing factors might include:
- Excess iron
- Magnesium deficiency
- Overactive parathyroid gland
What are the indications?
It is important to note that pseudogout often affects the knees but also affects the wrists, ankles and the elbows. The general symptoms might include the following:
- Episodes of joint pain
- Buildup of fluid around the joint
- Swelling of the affected joint
- Chronic arthritis
Once an individual experience any of these symptoms, it is vital to set an appointment with a doctor so that further testing can be carried out until a diagnosis can be given.
The doctor might decide to drain the synovial fluid from the affected joint to alleviate the pressure inside the joint as well as reduce the inflammation. The ideal way to help with the acute attacks is the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that work by reducing the swelling and the pain.
As for the flare-ups, the risk is reduced by providing the individual with low doses of colchicine or NSAIDs. In case the joint is worn out, the doctor might recommend surgical intervention to fix or replace the joints. Remember that there is no available treatment to eliminate the crystal deposits.