Doctor can't tell if it's gout or bunions? A CT scan might help
A new study reveals extra use for CT technology.
Studies have shown that it's relatively common to mistake bunions for gout, and vice versa. Additionally, sometimes even physicians have trouble diagnosing the latter disorder, which is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by the accumulation of uric acid in the joints.
But Mayo Clinic researchers now report that computed tomography (CT) scans may be able to detect gout when traditional tests are inconclusive or not an option.
Usually, a physician would draw fluid from the joint to test for uric acid crystals, but this is not viable for some patients. As a result, an alternate method was needed.
Authors of the study said that a CT scan provided very accurate results when screening for gout.
Patients should know that gout pain is typically sudden, while bunion discomfort usually increases gradually. Gout is sometimes just treated with a change in diet, since it is often caused by excess consumption of meat and alcohol.Bunions are a little more complex, since the bony deformity is generally the result of genetics. However, bunion splints and orthotics have been shown to help reduce the appearance of bunions without the need for invasive bunion surgery.