Patients with preauricular masses present with a wide range of pathologies, the most common of which are neoplasms of the parotid gland, metastatic or inflammatory disease, and enlarged periparotid lymph nodes. Other possibilities include lesions that arise from the skull base or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Chondrocalcinosis is a common age-related phenomenon that has a predilection for fibrocartilage. Although it can involve any joint, the knee is by far the most common site; involvement of the TMJ is very rare. We describe a case of chondrocalcinosis of the TMJ that manifested as a preauricular swelling and mimicked a parotid tumor, and we discuss the pathophysiology and radiographic characteristics of this disease.
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