Medical Definition of Hydroxyapatite

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hydroxyapatite: A major component and an essential ingredient of normal bone and teeth. Hydroxyapatite makes up bone mineral and the matrix of teeth. It is hydroxyapatite that gives bones and teeth their rigidity.

Hydroxyapatite molecules can group together (crystalize) to form microscopic clumps. If these tiny crystals of hydroxyapatite are deposited by mistake in or around joints, they may cause inflammation of the joints and nearby tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, particularly causing rotator cuff problems in the shoulder. The inflammation caused by hydroxyapatite crystals has been referred to as hydroxyapatite crystal disease.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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