Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Gout Attack

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. The past couple of weeks have not been terribly exciting, but the primary reason for my sitting out turns out to have been an episode of gout.

I have had joint problems on and off for the past 5 years and I have been documenting episodes since September 2006 to try to get to the bottom of things. In August 2008, I was diagnosed with a tarsal coalition in my left foot. Recovery led to an episode of gout in my right foot. This diagnosis was based on physical exam and high blood uric acid. I suspected I had another attach in March of 2009 but did not follow up with a doctor’s appointment.

The latest episode in my left arm started August 24th and I suspected it was just some tendonitis from moving boxes around the house. Unfortunately my self-prescribed treatment plan included ice and ibuprofen. I now feel that the ice contributed to uric acid crystals building up in my wrist, the soft tissue of my elbow and finally my left index finger. At any rate I sought medical treatment on September 1st and the doctor treated for gout with immobilization and Indomethicin. My arm did start to “cool down” and by September 4th, I could remove the splint and proceed with activities as tolerated. This amounted to rest and recovery over the long weekend. By September 8th, my wrist felt good, my elbow has recovered about 90% mobility and my index finger is the lagging troubled joint.

Considering the relative lack of episodes during my in season training, I believe that regular low intensity exercise has been beneficial in preventing attacks. The repetitive and unusual motion of moving boxes probably led to inflammation and finally the case of gout. At this point, I am still reluctant to start daily treatment to control uric acid but will be very aware of potential future attacks.

As an aside, I also had an examination of a bone spur on my right forearm, which the doctor felt should be removed. This has bothered me for quite some time, but without extreme pain so I did not seek medical treatment. It will be nice to have the bone spur removed as well.

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