06 Jan Knowing Pseudogout Can Make a Difference
The specific form of arthritis called pseudogout generally appears as sudden pain or a quick onset of swelling in one or more of your joints. The most prevalent location for pseudogout is in the knees, but it can also occur in other joints. The ankles and wrists are also common sites for pseudogout.
As the name implies, pseudogout is similar to gout, a joint condition that occurs due to deposits of uric acid crystals that build up in your joints and is most commonly a condition of the elderly.
Both gout and pseudogout are characterized by sudden onset of swelling and pain, which can last from a few days to weeks and months. In the case of pseudogout, the more medically-sounding name for it is calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease or CPPD. The underlying difference between gout and pseudogout are the source of the crystals, which is different for each condition.
While not much is known about why pseudogout occurs, the risks of coming down with this condition increase with age. Deposits of calcium pyrophosphate in joints are more common with the elderly and the size of the deposits increases with age. On the other hand, while about 50 percent of people over 95 have a buildup of crystals, most of them are not aware of it and never develop pseudogout. Why some people develop painful symptoms, however, many do not. It is not known why some are spared and others are affected harshly by pseudogout. Luckily, however, some treatments are effective in managing pseudogout.
The symptoms of pseudogout are fairly specific. They include swelling of the joint, heat coming from the swelling, and pain, which can be severe.
The surest clue that you should see a podiatrist is the sudden onset of intense pain or swelling in a joint.
Growing old is not the only marker for a higher risk of developing pseudogout. Other risk factors include:
- Older ages, especially above 80
- Joint injuries of the past or surgery on joints can increase the risk of pseudogout
- Genetics also plays a part. There is a predisposition among some genetic strains that increases the risk of pseudogout
- Some people have larger mineral deposits that build up in joints than others. As this implies, genetics plays a part in increased risks.
- A variety of other medical conditions can increase the risk of pseudogout. Those with underactive thyroid disorders or hyperactive parathyroid glands also have increased risks.
- Along with increased risk, there is the possibility of developing joint damage with symptoms that resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Diagnosing pseudogout most often a medical interview to ascertain if genetic influences could be at play. After this and a discussion about symptoms, physicians commonly order X-rays of the affected joints. These X-rays can reveal specific damage to joints and reveal the amount or size of crystal deposits.
There is no specific cure for pseudogout, but a podiatrist in Phoenix Arizona, at the Oasis Foot and Ankle Center can initiate treatments that can alleviate pain and improve functioning.
A physician could recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Be aware that some elderly patients already have conditions or are in borderline status for conditions such as stomach bleeding and decreased kidney function. These conditions can be aggravated by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Corticosteroids are prescribed for patients who cannot take either non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Corticosteroids can reduce inflammation, although when used long term, they can damage bones, contribute to the development of cataracts, increase risks of diabetes, and prompt weight gain.
Make an appointment
Ankle specialists in Phoenix Az at the Oasis Foot and Ankle Center can be reached at 602-993-2700. Make an appointment today for any swelling or pain that resembles gout or pseudogout.