19:14 PM

Gout in the Thumb: Is Your Thumb Pain a Sign of Gout?

CreakyJoints discusses gout in the thumb and methods of treatment according to experts including HSS rheumatologist Theodore R. Fields, MD, FACP.

Considered a type of arthritis, gout is very common, however “the thumb is quite an unusual place for gout to make its first appearance,” said Dr. Fields. Gout can occur in any joint in the body, but the most common spot for a first flare of gout is at the bunion joint of the big toe, followed by the mid-foot, then the ankle and the knee. “There’s some thought that gout in the lower extremity, and especially the big toe, may happen earlier than in other joints because of pressure from walking,” he explained. “In the first toe, it has been postulated that it being the coolest part of the body, you get more gout since we know that gout crystals are more likely to come out of solution in cooler temperatures.”

“For a flare of gout in the thumb, the treatment is similar to that of other sites of gout flares,” counseled Dr. Fields. Gout pain is generally treated in two ways: Medications to relieve gout attacks in the short-term; and preventive medications taken regularly to lower uric acid and stop gout attacks from occurring. Since gout in the thumb typically occurs later in the course of disease and is not the first sign of gout, it can be easily avoided if people seek medical attention for recurrent gout and adhere to their treatment, said Dr. Fields. If this is the case, people “will likely never get gout in the thumb, since their gout problem likely started in the foot or ankle and once on [medication like allopurinol] for a period of time gout almost always is ‘cured’ as long as the medication is continued.”

Read the full article at CreakyJoints.org.