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X-ray of a knee with chondrocalcinosis

Chondrocalcinosis or cartilage calcification is calcification (accumulation of calcium salts) in hyaline cartilage and/or fibrocartilage.[1] It can be seen on radiography.

Signs and symptoms

The clinical presentation of chondrocalcinosis is as follows:[2]

  • Chronic joint pain
  • Swelling of joints


Buildup of calcium phosphate in the ankle joints has been found in about 50% of the general population, and may be associated with osteoarthritis.[3]

Another common cause of chondrocalcinosis is calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD).[4] CPPD is estimated to affect 4% to 7% of the adult populations of Europe and the United States.[5] Previous studies have overestimated the prevalence by simply estimating the prevalence of chondrocalcinosis regardless of cause.[5]

A magnesium deficiency may cause chondrocalcinosis, and magnesium supplementation may reduce or alleviate symptoms.[6] In some cases, arthritis from injury can cause chondrocalcinosis.[7] Other causes of chondrocalcinosis include:[4]


X-ray of the knees, appearance of joint chondrocalcinosis

Chondrocalcinosis can be visualized on projectional radiography, CT scan, MRI, US, and nuclear medicine.[1] CT scans and MRIs show calcific masses (usually within the ligamentum flavum or joint capsule), however radiography is more successful.[1] At ultrasound, chondrocalcinosis may be depicted as echogenic foci with no acoustic shadow within the hyaline cartilage.[8] As with most conditions, chondrocalcinosis can present with similarity to other diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis and gout.[1]


The management of chondrocalcinosis is based on the following:[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Rothschild, Bruce M Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease (radiology)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Chondrocalcinosis 2". NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). Archived from the original on 13 May 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  3. Hubert, Jan; Weiser, Lukas; Hischke, Sandra; Uhlig, Annemarie; Rolvien, Tim; Schmidt, Tobias; Butscheidt, Sebastian Karl; Püschel, Klaus; Lehmann, Wolfgang; Beil, Frank Timo; Hawellek, Thelonius (2018). "Cartilage calcification of the ankle joint is associated with osteoarthritis in the general population". BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 19 (1). doi:10.1186/s12891-018-2094-7. ISSN 1471-2474. PMC 5968601.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Matt A. Morgan; Frank Gaillard; et al. "Chondrocalcinosis". Radiopedia. Archived from the original on 2019-11-13. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ann K. Rosenthal. "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition (CPPD) disease". UpToDate. Archived from the original on 2019-04-07. Retrieved 2022-03-15. This topic last updated: Jul 24, 2018.
  6. de Filippi JP, Diderich PP, Wouters JM (1992). "Hypomagnesemia and chondrocalcinosis". Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 136 (20): 139–41. PMID 1732847.
  7. Wright GD, Doherty M (1997). "Calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition is not always 'wear and tear' or aging". Ann. Rheum. Dis. 56 (10): 586–8. doi:10.1136/ard.56.10.586. PMC 1752269. PMID 9389218.
  8. Arend CF. Ultrasound of the Shoulder. Master Medical Books, 2013. Free chapter on acromioclavicular chondrocalcinosis is available at Archived 2017-07-14 at the Wayback Machine