Gout results from deposits of needle-like crystals of uric acid in connective tissue, joint spaces, or both. These deposits lead to inflammatory arthritis, causing swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joints. On the other hand, Osteoarthritis (OA) is not an autoimmune disease. It is a condition of wear and tear associated with aging or injury. The immune system is not affected.
edit Signs and symptoms
- OA stiffness tends to get worse with use throughout the day whereas stiffness due to gout is present only at the time of the attack.
- OA is associated with asymmetrical (not "matching") swelling in individual joints that are not part of a pair — e.g., one knee and an elbow, instead of both knees whereas Gout either involves a single joint or involves the joints in an asymmetric pattern.Generally, OA symptoms include joint stiffness, pain, and enlarged joints and it does not have any systemic symptoms.
- On the other hand the patient having Gout suddenly experiences a hot, red, swollen joint, caused by the formation of uric acid crystals between the joints. The attack often occurs at night and in a single joint, with the pain becoming more severe. Chills and a mild fever along with a general feeling of malaise may also accompany the severe pain and inflammation.
- In Gout although the pain and swelling disappear with treatment, it almost always returns in the same joint or in another one. Whereas OA is a continuous and progressive disease with no remissions.
edit Location of joints involved
With OA, inflammation generally occurs at the joint closest to your fingernail. On the other hand gout usually affects the joints in the big toe. Some other parts that could get affected by gout are ankle, heel, knee, wrist, fingers, elbow etc.
Adult men, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 50, are more likely to develop gout than women, who rarely develop the disorder before menopause. People who have had an organ transplant are more susceptible to gout.
OA is much more common than Gout. In the United States alone, an estimated 20 million people have osteoarthritis.
- Essential Orthopaedics by J . Maheshwari
- Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine volume 1 , 15th edition
- Current Medical Diagnosis and treatment, 2004; Lange publications