Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis that can affect various joints in the body, usually the big toe. When it strikes the ankle, it's referred to as ankle gout. This condition can be identified by sudden and intense pain, swelling, and redness in the affected joint. The root cause of gout in the ankle is a buildup of uric acid. This waste product is produced during the breakdown of purines, which are found in certain foods, like red meat and seafood. Normally, your body transports uric acid to the kidneys for elimination in urine. But if not properly flushed out, excessive uric acid remains in the bloodstream, termed hyperuricemia. Eventually, uric acid crystals can accumulate in certain joints, including the ankle joint, and cause the classic symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness. Gout flares usually peak within 12 to 24 hours of onset and gradually improve over one to two weeks, with or without treatment. Some individuals may experience only one gout flare in their lifetime, while others suffer from recurring flares. In cases of recurring gout flares, symptoms can become more severe and prolonged, potentially leading to joint damage. If you suspect you have ankle gout, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and more advanced treatment options.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.
- Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
- Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
- Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
- Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility
- Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
- Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
- Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
- Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
- Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
- Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout
Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City/LaPorte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.