What are the potential effects of gout on the shoulder?

The shoulder is one of the joints in the body that can be affected by gout. It is important to note that the breakdown of purines leads to the formation of uric acid. This is a waste product normally eliminated by the kidneys. Gout develops if there is buildup of uric acid in the body.

The uric acid produces sharp crystals which buildup within the joints including in the foot, knee, ankle and the shoulder.

What are the usual effects of gout?

Pain

The uric acid crystals can aggravate the soft tissues in the joint, thus resulting to a throbbing sensation. In certain instances, these crystals become abundant that the affected joint has a spiky appearance on an X-ray result.

gout-shoulder
The uric acid crystals can aggravate the soft tissues in the joint, thus resulting to a throbbing sensation.

The pain linked with gout can be described as crushing, throbbing and excruciating. In most cases, it arises abruptly, often in the middle of the night and can be intense that even the slight touch of a bed sheet can trigger significant pain.

Inflammation

Gout triggers inflammation in the shoulder joint characterized by swelling and redness. The swelling occurs once the irritated area is flooded by histamine which increases the penetrability in the blood vessels. As a result, it allows more fluids to move out of the blood vessels and into the tissues of the affected area.

Tophi formation

Once gout is in a chronic phase, the individual experiences the formation of tophi which are knob-like crystal lumps that form under the skin of the shoulder joint. They are painless but can trigger discomfort if the joint function is affected.

Reduced range of motion

As a form of arthritis, a persistent case of gout can lead to the degeneration of the joint structure. This will lead to deformities and diminished range of motion of the shoulder joint.

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