Always bear in mind that gout is a health condition that develops once uric acid builds up in the joints, resulting to inflammation and pain. As for pseudogout, it is considered as a similar condition but it causes deposits of calcium pyrophosphate instead of uric acid in the joints.
It is important to note that these two conditions vary depending on the type of joints affected in the body. Gout is quite common in the big toe while pseudogout affects the larger joints such as the ankle. Both conditions have similar symptoms that can make a diagnosis confusing.
Acute injury infections
The episodes of pseudogout have the tendency to manifest abruptly, especially among the elderly. Remember that these acute symptoms can subside after a few days or last up to weeks. As for the attacks of gout, they are somewhat similar to acute onset but there is the tendency to subside within 48 hours.
It is important to note that calcium pyrophosphate has a crystalline structure with sharpened edges. These sharp edges can irritate the soft tissues and nerves linked with a joint, thus resulting to pain. Once the calcium pyrophosphate enters the ankle joint, the pain can be localized to the area. Remember that this pain can be severe but it is not as severe with the intense effects of gout due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals.
Even though some individuals who suffer from pseudogout experience persistent ankle pain and discomfort, others experience periods in which the pain completely vanishes. The period in between the attacks of pseudogout does not have any symptoms.
The body reacts to irritants by flooding the area with histamine. These chemicals increase the permeability of the blood vessels, thus enabling the fluids that include white blood cells to gush out via the blood vessel walls and into the area affected by the irritant.
In case of pseudogout in the ankle, the accumulation of increased fluids in the ankle area is initiated by the presence of calcium pyrophosphate crystals. The increase in the fluid can lead to swelling of the joint.
If this condition is left untreated, the build-up of calcium pyrophosphate can lead to the erosion of the joint surfaces. The damage to the bone and cartilage of the ankle joint can lead to the growth of osteophytes or bone spurs which are symptoms of osteoarthritis. Always bear in mind that permanent joint damage is a possible result if pseudogout is not treated.
Once any of these indications are present, the individual might have pseudogout in the ankles. A doctor must be consulted for proper assessment of the condition as well as determining the right diagnosis.