Acute Gouty Arthritis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Acute gouty arthritis, or gout, is a disease that causes severe joint pain, redness, swelling, and stiffness. Acute gout pain starts suddenly, gets worse quickly, and stops on its own. Acute gout can become chronic and cause permanent damage to the joints.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

More than 1 joint may be painful. Joint pain and swelling may last longer with each attack. One or more of your joints may get infected, and your bones may be damaged. You may need surgery on 1 or more of your joints. High uric acid levels also increase your risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, and kidney stones.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Tests:

You may need blood tests, and any of the following:

  • Joint x-ray: This is a picture of the bones and tissues in your joints. Joints are the places in your body where two bones meet. You may be given dye as a shot into your joint before the x-ray. This dye will help your joint show up better on the x-ray. A joint x-ray with dye is called an arthrogram.

  • CT scan: A machine uses a computer to take pictures of your bones and joints. Before your CT scan, you may be given dye through an IV. Tell the caregiver if you are allergic to iodine, dye, or shellfish. You may also be allergic to the dye.

  • MRI: A machine takes pictures of your bones and joints. Never enter the MRI room with any metal objects. This can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal implants in your body.

Medicine:

Ask caregivers for more information about the medicines you need.

  • Medicines to treat pain, swelling, or fever: These medicines are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems when used by people with certain medical conditions. Tell caregivers if you have liver or kidney disease or a history of bleeding in your stomach.

  • Steroids: Steroids reduce inflammation and can help your joint stiffness and pain during gout attacks.

  • Uric acid medicine: You may be given medicine to reduce uric acid production, or to pass more uric acid when you urinate.

  • Gout medicine: This medicine decreases joint pain and swelling. It may also be given to prevent new gout attacks.

  • Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.

    • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.

    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.

Surgery:

For tophi that are painful or infected, you may need surgery called a bone graft. Bone in the joint may be replaced with bone taken from another place in your body. Ask your caregiver for more information about bone graft surgery.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Acute Gouty Arthritis (Inpatient Care)

Hide
(web3)