Podiatry Foundation of Pittsburgh
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Podiatry Foundation of Pittsburgh
c/o Nigro Ankle and Foot Care
1601 Union Ave. Suite B
Natrona Heights PA 15065

Gout

What is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when uric acid and joint fluid build up in the body. Certain food can increase uric acid and bring on an acute attack of gout. These include red meats, shellfish, beer, red wine and salt. Some medications can also cause an attack of gout.

Oftentimes, gout starts with sudden pain in a joint -- most commonly the big toe. Other places are the instep of the foot, the ankle or the knee. In addition to pain, the joint becomes red, swollen and warm. Many patients notice pain during the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. Typically, patients do not recall any injury to the joint. If the foot is affected, wearing shoes can be painful and patients may have trouble moving the joint or standing on the foot.

Patients experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention from a podiatric surgeon.

Treatment of Gout

Diagnosis of gout is based on an examination and personal/family history since the tendency to accumulate uric acid is often hereditary. Blood tests and X-rays may also be performed.

Doctors commonly prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to manage acute attacks. Generally, gout can be managed with proper medication. However, if gout attacks continue despite medical treatment, surgery may be necessary to remove the crystals and repair the joint.