Gout on the elbow is not so common, as for most it begins and remains concentrated in the area of the big toe or feet when you suffer from an inflammatory attack. For some, as the disease progresses over the years, it can move up the body and affect the knees, hands, fingers, and elbows. The first attack of gout in the elbow is extremely rare, so usually, gout in the elbow is found in someone who has been living with gout for 10 to 15 years. Often the attack will combine another joint, like the big toe, elbow or big toe and knee.
Gout on the elbow
The elbow consists of three bones, and two of these bones belong to the forearm, called the radius and ulna. The third bone is called the humerus, which is also the largest and is the only bone in the upper arm. The shoulder is very important to you because it is responsible for lifting, throwing and writing. Thus, uric acid crystals are usually deposited in the middle, where all three bones are connected in the joint capsule of the elbow.
An attack of gout at the elbow will also happen unexpectedly, you will wake up in the morning to find that your elbow is suddenly swollen and painful. You will experience severe pain and tenderness, just like a thumb, your elbow will be extremely sensitive to any pressure even from the sheet. Your elbow may appear red, warm, and swollen as if it were pouting. Mobility in your hand will obviously be limited. The skin on the elbow may peel off due to redness. And there may also be a sensation of itching.
Your doctor may prescribe colchicine or NSAIDs to get rid of pain and inflammation and put you on a long-term drug for the treatment of uric acid, such as allopurinol, to avoid any future attacks.
The difference between gout and bursitis
Another condition that can affect the elbow and can be confused with gout is bursitis. They both have the same symptoms, and therefore it is important to visit your doctor if your sore elbow is correctly diagnosed and treated. Bursitis is a condition that affects small, fluid-filled sacs that soften bones (called a bursa), tendons, and muscles near joints. When small sacs become inflamed, bursitis occurs near the joints, which are often repeated, like the knee, thigh, shoulder, heel, and elbow. In addition, bursitis is a condition that basically needs rest for treatment.
Other conditions that may make you think it is gout, but maybe something else; nerve compression can cause pain in the elbow caused by compression or seizure of nerves. Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis affecting the elbow joint can lead to stiffness, pain, and inflammation of the elbow and arm.
Keep in mind that people suffering from gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes have a higher risk of developing bursitis. Also, note that bursitis is a complication that sometimes affects the big toe when big toe bursitis develops. A callus is a painful swelling on the first joint of the big toe. A bone lump usually appears. It forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, causing the joint of the big toe to become larger and stick out. This can also be confused for gout, and it is very important to verify this.
In some cases, surgery can be used to treat gout joints in the elbow. If treatment, diet, and other treatments fail, and there is damage to the elbow, surgery may be required. There are three main operations to treat gout in the elbow:
- Surgery to remove tofus in modern cases of gout in the elbow.
- Surgery to merge the elbow joints to connect them back from destruction and damage.
- Surgery for replacement of the elbow joint, if the joint is not under repair, and should be completely replaced by an artificial joint.
In conclusion, one thing is certain. If you have gout on your elbow, this usually means that your gout treatment did not work, or you may have simply ignored the treatment. This should trigger an alarm and awaken you in making the necessary lifestyle, dietary and medical changes in your life.
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