The difference between Ankle Gout & Cellulitis

Ankle Gout

I would like to first touch upon one of Gout related cases. This is amusing yet sad to know that there was an individual who thought he suffered from a sprained ankle for over a year while actually he suffered from a Gout attack. There was another individual who was diagnosed with gout and later re- diagnosed with cellulitis (the common skin infection caused by bacteria). However, finally on a re- examination the doctor claimed that it was indeed gout and nothing else.

Following can be helpful in differentiating between Ankle Gout and Cellulitis:

Ankle Gout: The pain in the ankle feels as if the ankle is broken or twisted. Ankle gout is also confused with pseudo gout and arthritis pain. The main cause of ankle gout is the presence of high levels of uric acid in the body.

Cellulitis: In this condition the skin turns reddish and swollen and is accompanied by fever also The main cause of cellulitis is a bacterial infection on the upper surface of the skin as well as in the underlying tissues.

The first test that should be taken for gout is a joint aspiration test which is also known as the arthrocentesis. The difficult part of getting this test done is that you will have to search and look around for a medical facility that has a polarizing microscope which is required for doing this test.

You can get gout checked by any doctor but right diagnosis for gout requires a rheumatologist- doctor who specializes in arthritis and related diseases. The rheumatologist should have a polarizing microscope and the experience of being able to spot the gout crystals which are usually in the shape of needles. The main challenge lies in being able to collect enough of the synovial fluid out of the joint that is being affected to test this

Furthermore some apparent symptoms of Ankle Gout are:

  • The pain in the ankle is severe.
  • Gout looks swollen, reddish purple in color and may give the shiny look which is actually sore and tender.
  • During a gout attack the inflammation will reach its maximum in 12 to 24 hours.
  • Usually single joint attack occurs; if it happens to be in two or more joints then it is not likely to be a gout attack.
  • Easiest way to figure out if it gout attack or not is to get the level of uric acid in your body checked. If the level of uric acid is 7.0 mg/dL or more in men and 6.0 mg/dL in women then the chances of it being a gout attack are more.