Symptoms of gout in the knee

symptoms of gout in the knee and how to treat it

When you suffer from gout in your knee, you will feel severe pain with redness in the knee. This disease can affect all joints of your body without exception. So What are the symptoms of gout in the knee?

Although Gout is more common in the big toe, but the knee being affected is not rare. Symptoms of knee gout may be somewhat deceptive, given that many diseases affect the knees and cause symptoms similar to gout.

Let's learn about the most important signs and symptoms of gout in the knee and how to treat it appropriately.

What are the symptoms of gout in the knee?

Gout, known as the disease of kings, is an inflammatory condition that causes sudden attacks of severe pain in the joints. You see these attacks most often in the feet but they can also affect the knee and the rest of the body's joints.

Symptoms usually do not appear immediately when you have knee gout. Gout may take weeks or even months before showing any signs.

Gout tends to reveal itself suddenly, so the patient often wakes up from sleep feeling severe pain and discomfort, even though he was active and in good health yesterday.

The main symptoms of gout in the knee are:

  • Severe pain that increases when pressing or touching the knee
  • Swelling and redness with heat in the knee
  • Stiffness with difficulty moving the joint
  • Itching with flaking of the skin

As we mentioned earlier, these symptoms come in the form of attacks; a person may not suffer from gout symptoms only once to twice a year, while symptoms may be more frequent in severe cases of untreated gout.

A gout attack usually takes about 5 to 7 days before its symptoms disappear. The more severe gout is, the longer the attacks take to disappear. Severe attacks may need months to disappear.

Symptoms of gout in the knee
Symptoms of gout in the knee

Causes of gout in the knee

A gout is a form of arthritis that affects many joints of the body, especially the big toe or ankle. One or both knees may also be affected.

The leading cause of gout is an excess of uric acid in the blood due to increased synthesis in the body or a lack of excretion. This leads to the accumulation of pointed crystals of this acid and their gathering in the knee joint, which causes the appearance of pain.

The body produces uric acid by metabolizing purine, which is found naturally in the body or some foods, and then excretes excess through the kidneys.

Among the foods rich in purine: are red meat, seafood such as sardines, alcoholic beverages, and some vegetables such as cauliflower and spinach, in addition to breakfast.

How to treat gout in the knee

The main goal of knee gout treatment is to relieve the symptoms of the attack on one hand and reduce the frequency of the attacks. On the other hand, there is no definitive cure for this disease.

Lifestyle change is an essential step in treatment. Combining certain medications and healthy diet changes contributes significantly to controlling gout symptoms in the knee.

Treating knee gout with medication

The benefits of medicines lie in the fact that they reduce the symptoms of knee gout by relieving pain and reducing joint inflammation, as well as helping prevent the recurrence of attacks. Many drug groups are used in the management of gout, including:

NSAIDS

This category includes many over-the-counter medications, the most important of which is ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. However, patients with kidney failure and peptic ulcers are prohibited from taking this group due to some side effects.

Colchicine compounds

This drug helps manage the pain of a gout attack and reduces arthritis when given within 24 hours of the onset of an attack. Still, it may be associated with side effects, such as feeling sick with diarrhea or vomiting.

Uric acid-lowering compounds

These drugs aim to reduce uric acid levels in the body, which contributes to preventing gout symptoms and relieving their severity. Allopurinol and Febuxostat fall under this list.

Knee injection

Injection of some medicinal compounds, such as corticosteroids, into the joint, helps in the treatment and relief Symptoms of gout in the kneeHowever, side effects of treatment may occur, such as mood changes or high blood pressure.

A new way of treatment has recently been managed to treat knee diseases and their stiffness, which is Platelet-Rich Plasma for the KneeStudies are still ongoing about it, as its definite efficacy in treating gout has not yet been proven.

Diet for gout

A healthy, low-purine diet is one of the most effective ways to treat knee gout. As mentioned earlier, the human body produces uric acid by breaking down purines.

Avoiding alcohol, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meat helps reduce gout attacks in the knee. Exercising regularly while maintaining an appropriate weight also contributes to prevention and treatment.

Foods to avoid when you notice the symptoms of gout in the knee
Some of the foods you should avoid if you have knee gout symptoms.

Complications of gout in the knee

Some gout complications may develop if treatment is neglected, and some pose a threat to the patient's life, so the patient must seek a treatment plan specified by the doctor.

Among the effects and complications that gout may cause are:

  • Lumps under the skin of the knee called tophis, this are an accumulation of uric acid crystals
  • A morphological deformity may occur in the joint due to inflammation, chronic swelling, and the formation of tophi.
  • pile up Kidney stones As a result of the transmission of gout crystals and their collection in the urinary tract
  • Uric acid stones may lead to kidney failure and may reach the stage of kidney failure.
  • Some suffer from psychological symptoms such as depression

Symptoms of severe gout over time may lead to damage to the knee joint, which may require a surgery to change the joint.

Risk factors for gout

Some factors may contribute to an individual's increased risk of developing gout and increase the frequency and severity of symptoms, including:

  • Obesity and overweight
  • Some chronic diseases such as diabetes or kidney failure
  • A diet rich in purine
  • Having a first-degree relative with gout
  • Men are more likely to get gout than women
  • Gout most often affects the age group from 30 to 50 years
  • Undergoing surgery or being in a traumatic accident may trigger a gout attack.
  • Some medications, such as aspirin and blood pressure medications
How to prevent and relieve symptoms of gout in the knee
Tips for preventing and relieving symptoms of gout in the knee

Diagnosis of gout in the knee

Doctors often diagnose gout based on its symptoms and the shape of the affected joint with a visual examination. Some tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis, including:

Joint fluid test

It is performed using a needle to withdraw a sample of fluid from inside one of the joints affected by gout; then, the liquid is examined under a microscope in search of any formations of uric crystals.

Blood uric acid

A blood sample is taken to measure the uric acid level. A high percentage indicates the possibility of gout, but it is not inevitable. Some people have high levels without gout, and others suffer from gout symptoms and signs even though the acid level is normal in the body.

Radiography

Through the use of X-rays, other causes in the knee area that present with symptoms similar to gout are excluded like osteoarthritis And fractures, and echocardiography or magnetic resonance imaging may be used in this context to exclude the presence of Patellar tendinitis.

In the end, gout symptoms often appear in the knee in the form of annual attacks at an average rate of one to two times a year. Consult your doctor if you notice a symptom of gout in your knee. The earlier treatment starts, the better symptoms can be controlled and attacks avoided.


Sources:

  1. Healthline
  2. CreakyJoints
  3. NHS

Frequently Asked Questions:

When gout is not treated appropriately, it may cause severe irreversible complications such as joint damage or the formation of kidney stones that can potentially cause kidney failure over time.

When a person undergoes early treatment and adheres to the doctor's instructions, gout symptoms are often controlled and serious complications are avoided.

You may have gout when you experience severe pain with swelling and redness in the joints, especially in the foot and knee. It is best to consult your specialist doctor when you notice gout symptoms.

The latest finding of modern medicine in the treatment of gout is "pegloticase," which is given by intravenous injection under the supervision of a physician. This drug is used to control gout attacks and relieve its symptoms.

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