Recently, I have been seeing many cases of gout in my office. Gout mainly affects men and post-menopausal women. Gout usually occurs within the joint of the great toe, but it can occur in many other joints of the foot and ankle. Gout is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, inflammation and burning. All pressure to the area and all walking can be extremely painful.
Gout is caused by excessive uric acid, which accumulates in the affected joint. The excessive uric acid is brought on by either over production or under excretion of uric acid in the urine. Certain rich foods and alcohol can precipitate a gout attack. Such foods and alcohol may include red meat and their extracts, such as gravies and soups, shellfish and port wine.
If gout is treated within the first 24 hours of an attack, colchicine would be the drug of choice. If gout has been present for more than 24 hours, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as indomethacin is commonly used. Steroid injections to the area often alleviates much of the pain. After the initial manifestation of gout, your medical doctor may prescribe medication to prevent future attacks. If untreated, multiple episodes of gout can severely, and permanently, damage the joint, causing arthritic changes.
If you experience a red, painful joint in your foot, do not ignore it . Contact a podiatrist or your primary care doctor as soon as you can.
Evan Kelner DPM