Calcium pyrophosphate arthritis is caused by the collection of salt called calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD). The buildup of this salt forms crystals in the joints. This leads to attacks of joint swelling and pain in the knees, wrists, ankles, and other joints.
Among older adults, calcium pyrophosphate arthritis is a common cause of sudden (acute) arthritis in one joint.
Calcium pyrophosphate arthritis mainly affects the elderly because joint degeneration and osteoarthritis increases with age. However, it can sometimes affect younger people who have conditions such as:
- Parathyroid disease
- Thyroid disease
Because the symptoms are similar, calcium pyrophosphate arthritis can be misdiagnosed as: