Gout on the Ankle
Although no joint is exempt from gout, the condition usually begins first on one toe joint. An attack can be so severe that pain and inflammation may affect the ankle too. Most of the time though only one joint is affected at one time. In rare cases, only the ankle joint may suffer severely.
Pure ankle gout is considered atypical or not as common as gout affecting only the toe. When ankle gout does happen though, it can be easily misdiagnosed. You or a health care provider might think that it is a sprain or a case of cellulitis.
Misdiagnosis of ankle gout is especially possible among low risk people. Those who are in the high-risk group are usually men over 40. Women who are past menopause may also develop gout. Younger people therefore who may have gout may not easily be imagined to have the condition.
Doctors usually find out if a patient has ankle gout by looking at the symptoms and lab test results. A doctor may have to gather fluid from the joint and send it to a lab for analysis. The fluid may offer evidences of the presence of urate crystals which causes gout.
A blood test may also be requested to determine ankle gout. Blood tests will reveal if a person has high uric acid levels. It is uric acid that eventually forms into urate crystals. Sometimes though, even if a person has high uric acid levels, he may not have a gout condition at all. Those who do have ankle gout may not also always show high uric acid levels because the urate crystals may already begin to settle, thus evading actual detection in the blood.
Other Things to Look Out For
Gout is a condition that usually attacks immediately and without many warning signs. It is quite possible therefore to wake up with a painfully swollen joint even if one has been well the previous day. If this is the case, you may have ankle gout. Unlike other serious conditions however, the symptoms of ankle gout may eventually subside after a few days to two weeks.
Sometimes though, if ankle gout is left untreated, one may develop tophi. This is when the urate crystals form a hardened mass that is evident through the skin.
Taking Care of Your Gout
If you suspect that you have ankle gout, you should immediately contact your doctor and take precautions to protect your ankle. Your doctor will most likely prescribe you medication that is appropriate for your condition. It is important to take medications exactly as indicated to provide prompt pain and inflammation relief.
Aside from taking medicines, you should also ask your doctor about ankle gout self-care tips. Some patients may benefit from resting their ankle at an elevated position. It would also be helpful not to wear restrictive footwear and not to put too much stress on the ankles.
Gout Cures – Tip #1
Gout Cures – Tip #2
Gout Cures – Tip #3