Arthritis is a bone disease that causes bone degeneration leading to loss of bone strength and pain induction. The affected joint gradually loses its range of motion and movement becomes limited due to pain. It has many forms one of which is gout which mostly affects the big toe joint. An orthopedic surgeon in Pakistan is capable of treating gout most effectively and helps to relieve attacks of pain it brings about. Let’s learn what gout is. And what treatment is provided by an orthopedic surgeon in Lahore?
Gout is a complicated joint disease that could affect any person. Its sudden attacks of symptoms come and go at intervals. Your consultant could help manage its hurtful symptoms which include:
- Pain in the affected joint which may be the elbow, knees, wrists, ankles or fingers but, mostly the big toe of the foot is prey to this disease. The pain is intolerable and severe within 12 hours of its attack.
- Its symptoms usually appear at night waking up patients from sleep making joints swollen, tender to touch, painful and warm. The joint becomes too tender that even a slight weight like that of a bed sheet is intolerable.
- The affected joint appears red.
- After the attack, discomfort in the joint remains for a week or a few days.
- With the progression of the disease, the joint gradually lose its normal range of motion.
What causes gout?
The breakdown of purines within our body produces uric acid which naturally dissolves in the bloodstream and passes with the urine through the kidneys. Sometimes the improper function of the kidney fails to excrete uric acid or the body produces uric acid in abnormal quantity which accumulates in the form of sharp needle shape crystals. These crystals are called urate which gather in joints causing inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Intake of diet having a high level of uric acid put a person at the risk of developing gout. As the main reason for gout is the high level of blood uric acid level so certain conditions are responsible for gout like:
- An overweight body secretes uric acid in high quantities so kidneys find it difficult to eliminate it.
- Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure that is untreated, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart disease, and kidney disease may become a reason for gout.
- Few medicines that are used to handle other medical issues may increase the uric acid level.
- People having a family history of gout are susceptible to getting the disease.
- Men are more likely to get gout at an early age as compared to women because women have relatively low blood uric acid levels before menopause.
- Patients who went through surgery or an injury recently have a probability of getting gout attacks as it triggers the disease.
For diagnosis when you reach an orthopedic surgeon in Lahore, he gives a physical examination of the affected joint and prescribes various imaging and laboratory tests. Your doctor may take in following diagnostic tests for gout:
It gives details on the blood uric acid level which may be a reason for gout but a blood test alone is not sufficient to diagnose as some people with high uric acid levels do not necessarily develop gout. On the other hand, few cases with gout are found to have usual uric acid levels.
To rule out other possible reasons for swelling, pain and joint inflammation, an x-ray is advised to see the internal condition of the joint whether it is due to an injury or gout.
Joint fluid test
A needle is used to drive a fluid sample from the joint which is then observed under a microscope to see the urate crystals.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the presence of urate crystals in the joint.
- DECT ( dual-energy computerized tomography)
Multiple x-ray images are taken from different sides which are then combined to get the visual of urate crystals in the joints.
The treatment plan adhered to the severity of the disease also the orthopedist focuses on two aspects. First, he works on relieving pain and inflammation and secondly attempts to avert complications it brings in by controlling the blood uric acid level.
Gout attacks flare up the affected joint so, to prevent symptoms at the time of its attack certain drugs like painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids like corticosteroids for oral administration are prescribed. These medicines may have some side effects such as high blood pressure, vomiting, nausea, and stomach disorders in some patients. But, an orthopedist knows how to tackle the condition most effectively.
Gout attacks range from mild to severe and come and go at intervals but cause great damage to the joint. To prevent complications it causes medicines to control uric acid levels in the body are recommended by an orthopedic surgeon in Lahore. Drugs that cease uric acid production in the body like allopurinol aid in limiting uric acid deposition. Also, an orthopedist work on improving the function of kidneys by removing uric acid through medicines. All such medicines may show some side effects so should be taken under the guidance of a medical specialist.
Gout can be prevented by putting a bit of attention on our lifestyle. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins like uric acid from the body. Work on your weight because being obese is damaging to health so exercise and indulge in activities like walking, bicycling, and swimming to keep the body in shape. Avoid eating food that increases the uric acid level in the body especially those rich in purines. If still, you are prey to gout then immediately consult an orthopedic surgeon in Pakistan who can help to manage the symptoms.