Gout is an inflammatory arthritis caused by a buildup of high uric acid in a joint and it’s surrounding s soft tissues. The most affected joint is the great big toe.
Uric acid is present in the blood due to a byproduct of purines, a chemical found naturally in our bodies and in many foods we eat. The Uric acid is removed from the bloodstream and excreted in our urine. Some individuals have normal amounts of uric acid however there kidneys are not able to eliminate their normal amount of uric acid. Other individuals produce too much uric acid. Sinch the great big toe joint is furthest from the heart, it tends to be cooler than most other joints. Gout is temperature sensitive and at cooler temperatures the uric acid turns into crystals.
A classic triad of rubor, dolor, and calor (redness, pain and heat) are typically found at the joints involved, gout attacks can cause arthritic damage to the joint.
The foot and ankle surgeon will be able to diagnose gout based on your clinical presentation and your personal and family medical history. Laboratory test and x-rays may also be ordered to determine if the inflammation is due to another etiology
Medications: Prescriptions medications or injections are used to treat the pain, swelling and inflammation
Dietary restrictions: Certain foods and drinks contain high levels of purines making it difficult for the body to eliminate uric acid.
Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps the kidneys eliminate the uric acid more effectively.
Rest and Elevate during attacks helps reduce swelling.