Gout, an inflammatory disease caused by a buildup of uric acid, should be easy to diagnose, but that’s not always the case. It could be that you or someone you know in Brooklyn or the Bronx has gout but was misdiagnosed with another condition. The following are six conditions that are mistaken for gout and vice versa.
Pseudogout and infections
Pseudogout is perhaps the one condition that best mimics gout. Both are caused by crystal deposits on the joints and lead to inflammation and pain. Pseudogout is caused by the buildup not of uric acid but of calcium pyrophosphate.
The next two conditions that can be mistaken for gout are infections: septic arthritis and cellulitis. The former is a joint infection and leads to high white blood cell count and inflammation. Naturally, this happens in the case of gout, too, because the body mistakenly thinks it’s fighting off an infection. Cellulitis occurs when bacteria enters a cut or crack in the skin, usually on the lower leg.
Stress fractures and other forms of arthritis
Stress fractures are small cracks, usually in the bones of the foot, that arise from excessive wear and tear. They can cause pain similar to that experienced by gout patients.
Gout, especially polyarticular gout, can be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis. In both cases, patients can develop lumps under the skin. In RA, they are called nodules; in gout, they are called tophi.
Lastly, psoriatic arthritis can lead to a swelling around the fingers and toes, resulting in a condition closely resembling tophi and called dactylitis. However, if one develops pitted fingernails, the confusion is cleared up as this is not among the symptoms of gout.
Legal representation for the seriously injured
Though these conditions may be hard to distinguish from one another, there are times when doctors don’t make the distinction out of negligence. Perhaps something like that happened in your case. If so, you may want to see an attorney who works in medical malpractice law. Together, you may be able to build up a claim and seek compensation for the harm caused by the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.