may is national arthritis month part 3

May is: National Arthritis Month Part 3

We are continuing with arthritis today. We are on part three and if you have missed them, here are the links to:

What is Arthritis?

Inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age.
Different types of arthritis exist, each with different causes including wear and tear, infections, and underlying diseases.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, reduced range of motion, and stiffness.
Medications, physical therapy, or sometimes surgery helps reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

More than 3 million US cases per year.

May is National Arthritis Month Part 3 #pseudogout #fifthdiease #CPPD

Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease (CPPD)

Calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD) occurs when these crystals form deposits in the joint and surrounding tissues.

The crystal deposits provoke inflammation in the joint, which can cause the joint cartilage to break down.

The disease may take a few different arthritis-related forms:

  • osteoarthritis
  • a chronic rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-like inflammatory arthritis
  • or an acutely painful inflammatory condition called pseudogout. The name pseudogout comes from the fact that it comes close to another acutely painful condition called gout. The major difference is the type of crystals involved in the inflammation and damage.


Pseudogout is primarily caused by the precipitation of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals developing within a joint space.


Pseudogout most commonly affects the knees. Less often, wrists and ankles are involved. In many cases, there are no symptoms.

However, during a pseudogout attack, the affected joints are usually:

  • Swollen
  • Warm
  • Severely painful
  • Stiffness
  • May last for days to weeks and can resolve spontaneously
  • The inflammation leads to loss of range of motion and function of the involved joint


The treatment of pseudogout is directed toward stopping the inflammation in the joints.

  • Local ice application
  • and resting can help.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as:
    • ibuprofen
    • Advil and others are often first drugs of choice.
  • Removing fluid containing the crystals from the joint can reduce pain and help the inflammation to diminish more quickly.
  • Cortisone injected into an inflamed joint will also help decrease the inflammation.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys) is a medication used to decrease inflammation in patients with gout and may also be helpful in pseudogout.
  • Corticosteroids taken as a pill can help if the patient can’t tolerate colchicine or NSAIDs.

Long-term prevention of recurrent pseudogout is often best accomplished with small daily doses of colchicine and optimal hydration.

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease, also called Erythema infectiosum, is a mild viral illness that most commonly affects children. It is also known as Parvovirus infection is a common and highly contagious childhood ailment — sometimes called slapped-cheek disease because of the distinctive face rash that develops.

It is called fifth disease because it is the fifth of the five viral rash diseases of childhood the other four being:

  • measles
  • rubella
  • chicken pox
  • and roseola – is a viral illness that most commonly affects young kids between 6 months and 2 years old. It is usually marked by several days of high fever, followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks.

Who is Affected?

Fifth disease generally occurs in children between 4-10 years of age, but it can affect any age group. Fifth disease most commonly occurs during the winter and spring.  About 20 percent of people who get the virus don’t have symptoms, but they can still pass the virus along to others.


Fifth disease is a viral illness caused by parvovirus B19.


  • The rash appears after several days and may spread
  • The facial rash looks as if the cheeks were slapped
  • Sore throat
  • slight fever
  • upset stomach
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • and itching

How it spreads

  • By mother to baby by pregnancy, labor, or nursing.
  • By airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).
  • By skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs).
  • By saliva (kissing or shared drinks).
  • By touching a contaminated surface (blanket or doorknob).

Fifth disease can also affect adults!

Adults who are infected usually will have more severe flu-like symptoms, but may not develop the characteristic “slapped-cheek” rash. However, as many as 78% of symptomatic adults will develop joint pain and swelling one to three weeks following the initial infection.

Joints of the hands, wrists and knees are most commonly affected in a symmetric pattern. Joint symptoms usually resolve in a week or two, but approximately 10 % of adults with joint symptoms will have prolonged difficulties. Chronic joint pain has been known to last up to nine years.


The fever and joint pain of fifth disease in children may need no treatment or can be alleviated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Adults with joint pain and swelling may need to rest, alter their activities, and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

In rare cases of prolonged arthritis symptoms, other slow-acting medications may be added. Occasionally people with chronic parvovirus arthritis can benefit from drugs like hydroxychloroquine, but it is rarely necessary.

Fifth disease is a new one for me. I had not heard of this disease until I started researching arthritis and related illnesses.


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