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Gout

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Gout is a form of arthritis 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.

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.

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Gout medicine decreases joint pain and swelling. It may also be given to prevent new gout attacks.
  • Steroids reduce inflammation and can help your joint stiffness and pain during gout attacks.
  • Uric acid medicine may be given to reduce the amount of uric acid your body makes. Some medicines may help you pass more uric acid when you urinate.

Tests:

  • Blood tests are used to check the level of uric acid. You may need to have blood tested more than once.
  • A synovial fluid test is used to collect a sample of fluid from around your painful joint. The fluid is sent to a lab to check for uric acid crystals. Synovial fluid surrounds and protects your joints.
  • An x-ray, ultrasound, CT, or MRI may show the gout or damage to bones caused by gout. You may be given contrast liquid to help your joints show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

Surgery

called a bone graft may be needed for tophi that are painful or infected. Bone in the joint may be replaced with bone taken from another place in your body. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about bone graft surgery.

RISKS:

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 one or more of your joints. High uric acid levels also increase your risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, and kidney stones.

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.

© 2017 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.

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