What are the different causes of bone calcification?

Bone calcification results from the accumulation of calcium deposits in the joints. It can be caused by arthritis, Conradi-Hunermann syndrome, or soft tissue trauma. Treatment generally focuses on relieving the pain, inflammation, and swelling that are often associated with bone calcification. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, stretching, and physical therapy can be used to treat this condition. When pain interferes with daily life, puncture or excision may be necessary.

Arthritis is the most common cause of bone calcification. As calcium deposits are deposited in the joint space, the calcium salts adhere to the synovial membranes around the joint. The accumulation of calcium salts in the synovial membranes causes inflammation, stiffness, pain and swelling. Over time, there may be so much calcium in the joint that the ends of the bone fuse together.

Conradi-Hunermann syndrome is among a group of skeletal dysplasias, or genetic skeletal disorders, in which calcium salt builds up at the ends of long bones. This syndrome is X-linked, meaning it is inherited from the mother and predominantly affects women, although occasionally a man will have the condition. In addition to bone calcification, this syndrome can cause short stature, compression of the upper arm and thigh bones, and a curved spine. A flattened face, prominent forehead, skin thickening, dryness, and mental retardation in rare cases are other symptoms associated with Conradi-Hunermann syndrome.

If soft tissue such as a tendon is injured, the site of the injury develops scar tissue. This often occurs in the rotator cuff in the shoulder. Calcium deposits build up in scar tissue and cause pain, soreness, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis and frozen shoulder, that is, inability to move the shoulder due to pain, can develop. However, calcium deposits tend to resolve on their own within four weeks.

Doctors usually start treating the symptoms of bone calcification with medicine and exercise or physical therapy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen, may be recommended to reduce swelling and relieve associated pain. Moist heat can also provide some relief. Stretching exercises, at home or in physical therapy sessions, can prevent symptoms from progressing.

If conservative treatments do not help and/or if the pain interferes with activities of daily living, surgery may be suggested. Calcium deposits can be removed by puncture and aspiration or excision. Both procedures are performed under sedation. In the first, a needle is inserted into the bone calcification, and the doctor attempts to aspirate or aspirate the deposit. Then saline, novocaine, or cortisone is injected into the remaining calcium.

The second option, removal or manual surgical removal, of the bone calcification is more invasive. A small incision is made over the area of ​​calcification, and using a small camera, the surgeon cuts the calcified area from the bone. After surgery, the patient may have several physical therapy sessions to help build strength and improve function in the affected area. Other than bruising, complications are rare after any surgical procedure.

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