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Could Your Back Pain Be Gout?

The Arthritis Foundation featured HSS rheumatologist Theodore R. Fields, MD, FACP in an article about spinal gout. The article reported that spinal gout is a potential cause of back pain, but it is relatively rare.

However, Dr. Fields said "some early studies suggest there is more gout in the spine that we previously thought. Most doctors just aren't looking for it. Patients with spinal gout usually have a previous history of gout in other places."

Although gout typically affects the big toe joint and other extremities first, Dr. Fields noted that "gout can travel to almost any joint over time".

"If someone has untreated gout for 10 to 20 years, it is not rare to get it in their fingers, wrists, cervical and lumbar joints, and even occasionally the elbows. The only place it is really rare to get gout is in the hip," he added.

To check if gout is present in the spine, Dr. Fields explained that uric acid can be detected with CT scans. Additionally, he said patients with spinal gout need medication to lower their uric acid level.

Read the full article at blog.arthritis.org