DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gout. The left hand of a patient affected by gout. Gout is a common joint disease which is caused by the deposition of crystals of uric acid into the joint space and the surrounding tissues. The affected joint becomes red, swollen and extremely tender; the pain may be very intense and a mild fever may develop. This condition affects men ten times more than women and there is usually a family history of the disorder. Pain and inflammation are controlled with large doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; maximum benefit is achieved when the treatment starts as the attack begins. Corticosteroid drugs may also be injected in the affected joint.
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