Hydroxyapatite Crystal Disease: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 1/27/2022

Hydroxyapatite crystal disease is a condition in which hydroxyapatite, an essential mineral of normal bone, deposits in crystal form in and about the joints, causing inflammation. Tiny crystals of hydroxyapatite sometimes form in or around joints and can cause inflammation of joints and tissues around the joints, such as tendons, ligaments, bursae, or the joint capsule. The disease is distinct from pseudogout and gout.

Signs and symptoms of hydroxyapatite crystal disease are related to localized inflammation caused by the crystals. Symptoms and signs can include

  • localized pain,
  • swelling,
  • joint tenderness, and
  • limited range of motion of the affected joint.

Hydroxyapatite crystal disease has been described particularly as a cause of rotator cuff inflammation of the shoulder.

Cause of Hydroxyapatite Crystal Disease

The cause of hydroxyapatite crystal disease is unknown.

Other hydroxyapatite crystal disease symptoms and signs

  • Joint Tenderness
  • Limited Range of Motion of the Affected Joint
  • Localized Pain
  • Swelling

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.