Tophaceous gouty arthropathy of the lumbar spine

Clin Med (Lond). 2014 Dec;14(6):683-4. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.14-6-683.


Gout, classically affecting the first metatarsal joints, knees, fingers and ears, is seldom thrown out as a differential when a patient complains of lower back pain. Symptoms presented by patients with spinal gout may be non-specific and varied; at times, the only clue being that the patient has a previous history of gout. Prompt treatment with anti-inflammatory medication once diagnosis is reached helps to alleviate pain and improves the prognosis of the disease. Therefore, it is vital for the treating physician to keep an open mind and consider spinal gout as a diagnosis once other sinister causes such as osteomyelitis have been ruled out. This greatly reduces the morbidity associated with late treatment of spinal gout.

Keywords: Spine; axial skeleton; crystal arthropathy; gout.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Gouty*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Vertebrae* / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae* / pathology
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed