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Are you suffering from Gout attacks that affect your walking and daily activities? Swollen and Painful Joint?

Consult our Doctors @ Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic!

What is Gout?

Gout is a rheumatoid form of arthritis that causes the inflammation, joint pain and swelling especially in the toe, knee and ankle, also reducing their mobility. Gout usually appears in midlife and primarily in males. It can be hereditary or the secondary to some other disease process.

First signs of Gout attacks

In most cases, the first gout signs appear at the level of the big toe. The skin around the affected regions turns yellow, appears to be stretched and bruised. The regions affected by gout become very sensitive. It even causes the sufferers can’t tolerate clothing or shoes. Gout attacks in the region of the big toe are referred to as podagra and they involve inflammation, swelling, pain and a sensation of burning. Podagra can also occur due to acquired injuries or intense physical effort that involves the lower limbs.

Apart from the region of the toes, recurrent attacks also involve pain and inflammation of the knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists and fingers. Most types of gout attacks can generate low to moderate fever and sweating.

And when gout becomes chronic, the damage to the joint is deforming and crippling. Chronic gout attacks are usually long-lasting and they occur in multiple regions of the body.

Symptoms of Gout

The main symptoms of gout are severe pain and swelling in joints. It’s the crystallized and lodged of uric acid in the joints that cause joint pain. The joint gets hot, swollen and tender. In most cases, the pain attacks seem to amplify at night causing sleeping difficulty to many patients. How long can gout pain remain? The pain may remain anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and in some cases, even days. As the disease progresses, the duration of gout attacks can exceed 7-10 days.

Other common gout symptoms include fever, discomfort, sourness, malaise, tachycardia, elevations in skin temperature, itching sensations, body aches, water retention, inflammation and intense pain of the affected area – gout in the knee cause joint pain in the knee whereas gout in the finger or toe cause pain in finger or toe. The skin in the affected regions often looks stretched. Gouty arthritis may also cause back pain since it affects the joints.

Treat Gout Today @ Singapore Sports Orthopaedic Clinic

We treat and teach you about lifestyle changes to help you manage your pain effectively.

Gout causes

You can develop gout if you have too much urate in your body. Urate (also called uric acid) is a chemical that everyone has in their blood. It’s a waste product formed from substances called purines, which are found in every cell in your body and certain foods. Excess urate is usually passed through your kidneys and out of your body in your urine. However, the level of urate in your blood can rise if:

  • your kidneys don’t pass urate quickly enough
  • your body produces too much urate

If the level of urate in your body is too high, it can form tiny crystals that collect in your tissues, particularly in and around your joints. This is what causes the swelling and pain. These crystals form at cooler temperatures, which is why gout is common in your fingers and toes.

Not everybody with high levels of urate gets gout and some people get gout but don’t have high levels of urate. It’s not known why some people develop gout and others don’t. However, there are certain factors that can increase your likelihood of getting gout. You’re more likely to have gout if you:

  • are a man aged 30 to 60
  • are a woman who has been through the menopause, although women are much less likely to develop gout than men
  • eat a diet that contains high levels of purines, which are commonly found in red meat and seafood – urate is formed in your body when the purines in foods you eat and old cells in your body are broken down
  • drink too much alcohol
  • have a family history of gout
  • have kidney disease meaning that your kidneys don’t pass enough urate out in your urine
  • are overweight
  • have a medical condition such as psoriasis (itchy, dry and flaky skin) which can sometimes cause your body to produce too much urate
  • have high blood pressure
  • injure a joint

An attack of gout often occurs for no clear reason, but may be triggered by an illness, injury or drinking too much alcohol.

Complications of Gout

It’s uncommon for gout to cause any further problems but you may develop:
  • gout affecting several of your joints (called polyarticular gout)
  • inflamed tophi, which can cause discomfort
  • kidney stones (if urate crystals collect in your urinary tract)
  • kidney damage (if urate crystals collect in your kidney tissue)

What will the doctor do to diagnose Gout?

Doctor looking MRI picture. Medical equipment.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you. He or she will usually take a sample of your blood, which will be sent to a laboratory to measure the levels of urate.

Your doctor may remove some fluid from your swollen joint with a needle. This usually causes no more discomfort than a blood test. If urate crystals can be seen in the fluid under a microscope, you have gout. If calcium crystals are seen, you have a similar condition called pseudogout. The crystals formed when you have pseudogout aren’t urate crystals – they are made of a calcium salt called calcium pyrophosphate.

You may need to have an X-ray taken of your joint in order to rule out other conditions, but this is less common.

Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic

We treat and teach you about lifestyle changes to help you manage your pain effectively.

Treatments for Gout ?

Prevention of Gout

Identifying anything that brings on an attack of gout and not doing these things is very important.

For example, you:

  • shouldn’t eat foods that are very high in purines, such as liver, kidney and seafood (especially oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and anchovies), and certain vegetables (asparagus, cauliflower, lentils, mushrooms, oatmeal and spinach) – ask your doctor or a dietician for more advice
  • shouldn’t drink too much alcohol – especially beer, stout, port and fortified wines
  • should eat a well-balanced diet and do regular physical activity to lose excess weight
  • should drink enough water

Short-term Approach

Corticosteroids. Injections of a corticosteroid drug into your knee joint may help reduce the symptoms of an arthritis flare and provide pain relief that lasts a few months. The injections aren’t effective in all cases. There is a small risk of infection.

 

Long-term Approach

To follow low purine diet and take medicines and blood test once every one or two months to monitor the uric acid level.

Gradually, to stop the medicines and monitor the uric acid with just diet control.

The aim is to lower the uric acid level without medicine intervention and just by diet control to prevent further gout attack.

Why Choose Singapore Sports Orthopaedic Clinic for Gout?

ambrose

Dr. Ambrose Yung

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS (HK), MRCS (EDIN), MMED (ORTHO), FRCS (ORTHO)

Special interest in Sports Medicines, Osteoarthritis, Fracture, Partial & Total Joint Replacement, Minimal Invasive Trauma Surgery, Arthroscopy, Common Orthopaedic Problems for Adult & Children

Dr. Ambrose Yung is a specialist orthopaedic consultant with experience in hip fracture surgery, partial knee replacement, complex primary total knee replacement, revision knee replacement, minimal invasive knee and shoulder sports surgery, foot and ankle pain, elbow pain / bursitis, fractures, common orthopaedic problems for Adult and Children.

Dr Mathew

Dr. Mathew Tung

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS (SG), FRCS (GLASG), FRCS (NEUROL), FAMS

Special interest in treating Back Pain, Neck Pain, Nerve Disorder, Headache, Brain, Tumour, Osteoporosis, Stroke, Sweaty Palm

Dr. Mathew Tung is a spinal specialist neurosurgeon who specialises in treating disorders of the brain and spine with special interest in in back pain and neck pain, nerve pain and headache. He believes that neurosurgery should always consider the non-invasive options before open surgery to attain minimum morbidity and a fast return to optimum function.

Dr Chee

Dr. Chee Khin Ghee

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS (SG), MRCS (EDIN), MMED (SX), FAMS

Special interest in Microsurgery of Hand and Wrist – for Adult and Children

Dr. Chee Khin Ghee is a Specialist Hand Surgeon specialising in hand & wrist injuries, arthritis, tumours, wrist arthroscopy, hand joint replacement and soft tissue reconstruction microsurgery. In addition to common bony, soft tissue and nerve conditions of the upper limb, Dr. Chee’s sub-specialty and interest are in Hand and Wrist arthroplasty and arthroscopy which include joint replacement and reconstruction.

kelvin

Dr. Kevin Yip

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS (UK), FRCS (EDIN), FAM (SG), FHKCOS (ORTHO)

Special interest in Knee and Shoulder Pain, Injuries, Fracture, Common Orthopaedic Problems, Arthroscopy Surgery for Adult & Children

Dr. Kevin Yip is a senior orthopaedic surgeon and a professor who specialises in orthopaedic trauma surgery. He has published close to 100 research articles. When Dr. Kevin Yip sees you, he will take a detail history and will then examine you. He uses various methods to diagnose your condition. He will then take you through the results by showing you pictures, on screen, of your tendon, ligaments,nerve or bone and will discuss your treatment options.

Call us to treat your Gout today!

We treat and teach you about lifestyle changes to help you manage your pain effectively.

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