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Gouty Arthropathy


Gouty arthropathy is a medical term that defines a type of joint disease caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in a joint space. Arthropathy is the definition of any type of joint disease. Gout, caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the joints, may cause a number of symptoms that worsen if left untreated. The combination of gout and the affects it has on joint function may cause deformity, pain, difficulty moving or using the joint and all-around discomfort.


  • Heredity
  • Weight gain and/or obesity
  • Certain medications that elevate uric acid levels in the body
  • Cancers such as leukemia
  • Low thyroid levels
  • Alcoholism

Signs & Symptoms

  • Joint swelling
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Hard nodules or sacs observed in the local affected area


Your doctor may be able to diagnose gout by a physical and visual examination. However, he may also use other diagnostics such as:

  • Arthrocentesis - joint aspiration to test for uric acid crystals
  • X-rays may show crystallized deposits and/or bone damage


The first step toward treating gouty arthropathy is to limit flare-ups, followed by steps to take long-term measures to reduce or prevent future attacks or development of crystallized deposits.

Your doctor may recommend:

  • Medication -anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol to reduce swelling and inflammation. You may also take other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as naproxen and corticosteroids such as prednisone or colchicine to reduce inflammation of the affected joint/s.
  • Making changes in your diet
  • Weight loss
  • Reduction of alcohol consumption
  • Increase hydration
  • Medication that reduces uric acid levels in the blood (a condition known as hyperuricemia) - such as Zyloprim, Uloric, or Probenecid are common.


In the event non-surgical approaches to treat gouty arthropathy fail to produce desired results for regaining function and mobility in a joint, your doctor may suggest surgery to repair or replace joints damaged by gouty arthropathy. Surgery may help correct deformities and restore joint junction.