- Foot and ankle tophus is a common symptom of Gout.
- If left untreated it may hinder daily activities in a persons’ life.
- New research finds association between foot and ankle tophi and muscle strength
- Presence of Foot and ankle tophi for longer years reduce muscle force
- Achilles’ Tophi is the most common among tophi
Foot and Ankle tophus has been considered as the major symptom for Gout. Tophus is characterized by the deposit of uric acid crystals in joints, cartilages or bones. Without treatment, tophi can cause bone destruction and hinders physical movement of the individual, thus indicating to what extent it can impact on someone’s life.
A recent research conducted by a team of professionals at the Auckland University of Technology, Department of Rheumatology, Countries Manukau District Health Board and the University of Brighton substantiates that prevalence of tophi for longer years can affect the capacity of muscles to exert force especially the foot and ankle tophi.
The study included 57 participants with and without foot and ankle tophi. Reading of muscle force were taken during Plantar flexion (movement of foot downwards), dorsiflexion (backward flexion, to the upper surface), Inversion and Eversion (tilting movement of the foot) using a device named CITEC hand-held dynamometer.’
The most common spot of tophi appearance among the participants was Achilles’ tendon, which is behind the leg connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. The research found out that the muscle strength or the exerted force were low for people with tophi at Achilles’ tendon compared to others.
Meanwhile, the study could not find any significant relation between muscle force and presence or absence of tophi in other parts of the body like elbow.
It also didn’t find any relation between numbers of tophi at foot and ankle and strength of the muscle.
The research concludes that the presence of tophi for longer years would affect the muscle strength, especially if it is at foot and ankle. Normally, people restrain from walking or standing for too long to ease the pain, and it may contribute to reduced muscle force. But in the research, the information gathered
shows a significant influence of tophi in reduced muscle force.
The researchers thus recommended more longitudinal study with increased participation to know the real impact considering age, previous medical condition, the presence of other diseases, etc.
The research was published in the latest issue of BioMed Central’s Journal of Foot and Ankle Research.