Thumb Tophi – Worst Symptom of Thumb Gout

Thumb tophi join the collection of lumps on the hand for victims of tophaceous gout.

As you can see from the photograph below, a thumb tophus can be particularly debilitating if it stops you gripping effectively.

The one shown below is not the worst I’ve seen, but bad enough to make you think twice about leaving your uric acid level above 5mg/dL.

Unfortunately, we do not have a corresponding photograph of the thumb after treatment, but almost all similar case studies show that the tophi dissolve if uric acid is maintained at a suitably low level. If you use the search boxes near the top and bottom of each page to search for lower faster, you will see that aiming for low uric acid is always a good idea when tophi are present.

Thumb Tophi Photograph

Thumb Tophi with Gout Crystals

Thumb Tophi Information

The photograph is one of a series of seven gout pictures from “A Photo Essay of Gouty Arthritis” in Consultant Live[1]. As this is not a regular gout case study, we do not have all the background. I have paraphrased the description of the photograph below, and you can see the original text if you click the photograph.

The thumb of a 70-year-old man shows a white patch surrounded by red inflammation.

The thumb was lanced, and fluid collected, which was analyzed under a microscope, revealing crystals. The crystals split polarizing light in a way that identified them as uric acid crystals. This confirmed a diagnosis of gout.

Results of tests showed a uric acid level of 8.5 mg/dL (0.51 mmol/L) in the blood. The original description refers to a normal range, which is meaningless. You will find information about why this is meaningless if you search for normal uric acid in the search box above or below.

Gout appears first in a single joint, for most gout patients. The essay mentions 70%, but there is no reference for this. Gout involving multiple joints is seen occasionally. This case, where gout is diagnosed despite no swollen joints, is rare.

Thumb Tophi: Next Steps

In this example, the patch of gout crystals is very clear, presumably due to skin bursting at some point. Often, the tophi show as lumps of varying size. If you have unusual growths on your thumbs, you should consult your doctor immediately. You do not have to become a Gout Victim. Also, see more facts for Gout Victims.

Leave Thumb Tophi to browse other Tophi pages.


Thumb Tophi References

  1. Original from Consultant Live article/10162/2103463. Now renamed Patient Care Online. Flagged for review to present PDF file.


Thumb Tophi Document Change History

Thumb Tophi Document Change HistoryTo read the document change history, click the GoutPal History image on the right.

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Find more (see gouty search hints for guidance).

Any Hope For Gout Joint Damage?

In Any Hope For Gout Joint Damage, I explain how joints damaged by gout might be impossible to repair. Above all, I warn against allowing gout to damage your joints. Because gout joint damage is much easier to prevent than repair.

Gout Joint Damage Audience

I wrote Gout Joint Damage for Gout Victims. Because gout sufferers who do not control excess uric acid suffer needlessly. So, I want you to understand the dangers of untreated excess uric acid. If you want to know more about your gout sufferer type, read Questions for Gout Sufferers first.

continue reading Gout Joint Damage

How to Avoid Gout Medication Side Effects

How to Avoid Gout Medication Side Effects tells you about managing all gout treatments. So, I describe a general approach to safe gout medication. Because many side effects are caused by bad treatment plans.

Gout Medication Side Effects Audience

I wrote Gout Medication Side Effects mainly for Gout Victims who will not start uric acid control. Because they feel they cannot manage side effects safely. So, they stop their treatment instead of managing it properly.

Also, this is useful for any gout sufferer who is scared of gout medication side effects. So, do you know which type of gout sufferer you are? If not, please read Questions for Gout Sufferers before you continue.

continue reading How to Avoid Gout Medication Side Effects

Dangerous Baking Soda For Gout

Baking soda for gout is often pushed as a natural gout treatment. But, it isn’t natural. Because it’s a dangerous chemical that has serious side-effects, even under medical supervision.

Here, I explain the dangers of baking soda for gout. Then I describe better, safer alternatives to baking soda when treating gout.

Baking Soda for Gout: Introduction

When I first started GoutPal, I was aware that some people pushed baking soda for gout. They pushed sodium bicarbonate as a home gout remedy. At the time, I had suspected high blood pressure. So, I chose to avoid baking soda. Because it is well known that excess sodium raises blood pressure.

Besides blood pressure, I’ve seen other warnings. Baking soda brings as many problems as benefits. I had to avoid the risks to my blood pressure. I hated the idea of taking an untested chemical every day.

My biggest benefit came when looking for alternatives to baking soda for gout. So, I researched natural ways to alkalize. Then, I was pleased to discover Alkalizing Gout Diet Menu. Because alkaline diets use healthy food to help control uric acid level. Subsequently, research has shown specific gout benefits. Because a naturally alkalized body will excrete more uric acid. So, it’s easy to achieve lower uric acid with tasty diet changes.

Why risk your health with baking soda?

continue reading Dangers of Baking Soda for Gout

GoutPal Plan for Gout Victims

Are you safely controlling your uric acid?
If not, GoutPal Plan for Gout Victims is for you.
It is a 7-step plan to avoid the dangers of ignoring excess uric acid.
Specifically, it helps you understand dangers of uric acid. And, why you must make uric acid safe.

This is part of a series of plans for all gout sufferers. First, answer Questions for Gout Sufferers. Then, use this GoutPal plan to understand how dangerous excess uric acid is. And, find ways to avoid those dangers.

continue reading GoutPal Plan for Gout Victims

Is Fatal Gout Killing You?

Gout sufferers often say “My gout is killing me!” Meaning that the pain of a gout flare is so severe that death seems the easier option. That might be an exaggeration. But, fatal risks of gout cannot be over-exaggerated.

In recent years, advances in imaging technology have allowed scientists to understand gout better. We can now see the uric acid crystals in our bodies long before we can feel them. Ultrasound and DECT show great promise for helping us assess the true damage caused by uric acid crystals. I’ve warned against allowing uric acid crystals to spread into the heart, kidneys, and other organs. We’ve known about uric acid kidney stones for a long time. But what of other organs?

There have been several cases of tophi being found in and around the heart. Commentators at the time have remarked that the incidence of heart attacks caused by uric acid crystals is probably higher than is generally thought. Now, a new report confirms this. Then, and calls for a change in pathology routines so that death from gout is recorded more accurately.

Continue reading Is Fatal Gout Killing You?