As one of the nation’s top-ranked centers for rheumatology, Duke provides expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of gout. Our experts work closely with specialists throughout Duke to relieve your symptoms and help prevent future attacks. We want to help you resume a healthy, active life.
Leaders in gout care and research
Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. The sudden, intense, painful joint swelling and stiffness occurs when uric acid builds up in the body, and sharp uric acid crystals deposit in the joints -- most often the big toe. However, gout can also attack other joints, including ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows.
If you need relief from the painful effects of gout, our doctors can help. We conduct comprehensive evaluations to determine the extent of your condition, and work closely with you to determine the effectiveness of treatments, and manage the possible side effects. We are leaders in researching therapies for gout, and were involved in the development and testing of Krystexxa, a significant advance in the treatment of chronic, severe gout.
Our goal is to relieve pain associated with acute attacks, prevent future gout attacks, and minimize the risk of long-term complications associated with this painful form of arthritis.
Choose Duke for your gout treatment because we offer:
- Access to clinical trials. Our rheumatologists are dedicated to identifying the best treatments for gout. As our patient, you may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of new drugs for treating this condition.
- Team approach to care. Treating gout can be a challenge if you have other chronic conditions and regular medications. We work closely with your primary care physician, and with other specialists who care for you regularly, to ensure that your condition is being managed safely and effectively.
- Nationally ranked program. Our rheumatology program is ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
There is no cure for gout, but careful management of the condition may help to keep it under control. Treatment options include:
Reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain.
Injected into the joint to relieve pain from a gout attack.
Pain reliever that works best when taken within the first 12 hours of a gout attack.
Given intravenously (with an IV), this newly approved drug is used for chronic and severe cases of gout. It lowers uric acid levels and reduces deposits of uric acid crystals in joints and soft tissue. Krystexxa was developed and tested at Duke.
We work with you to adopt diet and exercise habits that minimize your risk of a gout attack. This includes avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks, eating less meat, and drinking more water. Since gout often is associated with obesity, we also help you determine the best steps to manage your weight.
In addition to a physical examination of the affected area, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, medical history and family history.
Measure the levels of uric acid in your system.
Withdraw synovial fluid from affected joints to check for crystals associated with gout.
X-rays can reveal the extent of joint damage.