Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


What is Gout?

Hello, My name is Dr. Irene Arroyo and I am one of the podiatrists at Dallas Podiatry Works in Dallas and Plano.

Today I am going to talk about gout.

Gout is: a type of inflammatory arthridity. The big toe joint is the most common joint affected but it can occur in other joints such as ankles, knees, and wrists.

Gout is caused by an increase of uric acid in your blood, which results in accumulation of urate crystals in the joint, producing an inflammatory response. If left untreated, it can damage your joints and tissues.

There are also pre-disposing factors to be aware of, which include: being overweight, high consumption of alcohol, high purine diet (ex. red meats, organ meats, and fish), certain medications such as water pills, having a family history, and having certain medical conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases.

If you think you may have gout, there are specific signs and symptoms which are common during a gout flare such as:

  • Having a red, swollen joint
  • Sudden attack of burning type pain with and without walking
  • Joint stiffness.

Duration of symptoms is unpredictable. It is recommended to seek immediate assistance if you have other generalized symptoms such as fevers and chills.

The process to diagnose gout starts with a:

  • Physical exam, and x-rays are usually necessary.
  • A blood test is typically ordered to measure the uric acid level.
  • In office procedure for aspiration of the joint may be performed to evaluate for uric acid crystals and confirm the diagnosis.

Gout is treatable, and common methods of treatment consist of:

  • Maintaining a Low purine diet
  • Shoe gear modifications, namely rigid sole shoes
  • Arch support (OTC versus custom)
  • Oral and topical medications to treat your symptoms
  • Ultrasound guided injection

Surgical intervention is typically not needed for this condition,  particularly if treated during early stages.

There are preventive measures to know of with the ultimate goal to maintain normal uric acid levels, particularly to prevent multiple episodes.

Possible complications if gout is not treated include:

  • Formation of tophi, which are skin nodules from accumulation of uric acid crystals under the skin
  • Destruction of joints
  • Kidney stones

If you suspect having this condition, please call our office and make an appointment. We would be honored to be part of your healthcare team.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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