The formation of tophi is one of the common gout symptoms in people who are suffering from this condition. Tophi are swollen, bulbous growth that can be present around your joints due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals. In addition to the development of tophi, gout can lead to a large number of other symptoms including pain and swelling in your joints. Gout pain can be really worse and it can often hinder your sleep when it happens at night.
When this condition becomes worse, you can find the development of tophi in different parts of the body. If this condition is not treated before it becomes severe, it can lead to joint damage and deformity.
Common Locations Where Tophi Form
Tophi can form near your joints because of the excess build-up of uric acid crystals. The following are some of the common locations where tophi can be found:
- Achilles tendon
Uric acid crystals can build-up in different types of tissues in your body. The following are some of the tissues where the development of tophi are commonly found:
- Tendons that are responsible for connecting joints to muscles
- Synovial membranes which cover your joint cartilage
- Bursae, which are small sacs that are responsible for creating a barrier between your bones and other soft tissues
- Cartilage present around your joints
- Any type of soft tissues present in your joints including ligaments or fats
In some cases, tophi might also develop in connective tissues that are not found in a joint. They include:
- Renal pyramids, a part of your kidneys that are found in a triangular shape. They are made up of nephrons and ducts that are useful for absorbing nutrients before the waste is released through the urine.
- Sclerae, known as the “whites” of the eyes.
- Heart valves like the aorta.
Symptoms Associated With Tophi Formation
Tophi do not result in pain on their own, however, the swelling associated with them can be painful. If this condition is left untreated, then tophi might break down your joint tissues thereby making it difficult and painful to use the affected joints. This can give a twisted look to your joints.
Tophi may cause your skin to stretch out and make it uncomfortably tight which can sometimes lead to painful sores. Tophi can also break open when this happens thereby releasing a white material that is made of hardened uric acid crystals.
Hence, the formation of tophi associated with gout can cause many difficulties to people. They are formed when gout becomes worse. So make sure to treat this condition before it leads to severe symptoms.