Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected (approximately 50% of cases). However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate nephropathy. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood which crystallizes and the crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues. (adapted from wikipedia)
Image from globalhealthforce.org. The picture above is from someone with chronic gout.
The deposits on the fingers are called tophi, and are a deposit of monosodium urate crystals in people with longstanding high levels of uric acid in the blood. Tophi are pathognomonic for the disease gout. Most people with tophi have had previous attacks of acute arthritis, eventually leading to the formation of tophi. (adapted from wikipedia)
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