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Hydroxyapatite crystal disease facts
- Hydroxyapatite is an essential mineral of normal bone.
- Crystals of hydroxyapatite deposited in and about the joints cause inflammation.
- Inflammation and pain are part of hydroxyapatite crystal disease.
- This disease is distinct and different from gout and pseudogout.
- Treatment includes measures to reduce inflammation and pain.
What is hydroxyapatite?
Hydroxyapatite is the major component, and an essential ingredient, of normal bone and teeth. It is hydroxyapatite that makes up bone mineral and the matrix of teeth.
What are hydroxyapatite crystals?
Hydroxyapatite molecules can group together (crystallize) to form microscopic clumps, called hydroxyapatite crystals.
Tiny crystals of hydroxyapatite sometimes form in or around joints and can cause inflammation of joints and tissues around the joints, such as tendons and ligaments. They have been described particularly as a cause of rotator cuff inflammation of the shoulder.
The inflammation caused by hydroxyapatite crystals has been referred to as hydroxyapatite crystal disease.
Is hydroxyapatite crystal disease the same as gout or pseudogout?
No. These conditions are similar in that they are all caused by the inflammation that results from the body's reaction to crystals. However, hydroxyapatite crystals are distinctly different from the crystals of pseudogout or gout. While hydroxyapatite crystals can sometimes also be found in the company of the calcium pyrophosphate crystals characteristic of pseudogout, these are quite different types of crystals.
How are hydroxyapatite crystals identified?
Sometimes, hydroxyapatite crystals can be seen clumped in the fluid of a joint that has developed arthritis. The crystals are usually so small as to be invisible under a regular microscope and thus require a special (electron) microscope for identification.
How is hydroxyapatite crystal disease treated?
The treatment of the inflammation caused by hydroxyapatite crystals includes rest, cold application, and medications to reduce inflammation. Cortisone-related medications injected into inflamed tissues can also sometimes help decrease inflammation and thereby relieve pain.
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Garcia GM, McCord GC, Kumar R. "Hydroxyapatite crystal deposition disease." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
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Top Hydroxyapatite Related Articles
Cortisone InjectionCortisone injections are used to treat small areas of inflammation or widespread inflammation throughout the body. There is minimal pain from these injections, and relief from the pain of inflammation occurs rapidly.
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
Gout SlideshowGout attacks (gouty arthritis) are caused by crystals of uric acid deposits. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatments and medication for this painful condition.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to reduce mild to moderate pain, inflammation, and fever. Ibuprofen works by blocking an enzyme that makes prostaglandin (a hormone-like substance that participates in a variety of body functions), which results in lower levels of prostaglandins in the body. Lower levels of prostaglandins reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.
Ibuprofen is prescribed to treat diseases and conditions that cause mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. For example, Pain from strains and sprains; pain from cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds; muscle aches and pains; tooth pain; common cold; mild headache; some arthritis conditions; joint pain; and to reduce fever.
Common side effects of ibuprofen include, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, heartburn, belly pain, drowsiness, headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and mild rash.
More serious side effects and adverse effects include, increased bleeding after injury, stomach ulcers, impaired kidney function, severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), blood clots, heart attack, heart failure, and high blood pressure.
The maximum dose prescribed under a doctor's care is 3.2 g daily. Otherwise, the over-the-counter (OTC) maximum daily dose is 1.2 g daily. Dosage depends upon the age, weight, and any current medical conditions of the patient. Several drugs interact with ibuprofen so check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional with questions in regard to this drug. Doctors don't know if it is safe to take ibuprofen if your are pregnant, therefore it is not recommended if you are pregnant. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ibuprofen is safe to take while breastfeeding.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
Joint AspirationJoint aspiration (arthrocentesis) is a procedure where fluid is drained from a joint with a needle and syringe for laboratory analysis. This may help determine the causes of joint swelling or arthritis.
PseudogoutPseudogout, a form of arthritis, results when deposits of crystals collect in and around the joints. Symptoms of pseudogout include pain, stiffness, warmth, and joint swelling of the knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and/or wrists. Treatment for pseudogout aims to decrease inflammation through the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ice, and rest.
Rotator CuffRotator cuff disease is damage to any of the four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Shoulder pain and tenderness are common symptoms. Rotator cuff disease treatment depends on the severity of the shoulder injury.
Shoulder BursitisShoulder bursitis is inflammation of the shoulder bursa. Bursitis may be caused by injury, infection, or a rheumatic condition. Symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, and pain with movement of the shoulder joint. Treatment may involve ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications and depends on whether there is an infection.