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01-12-2019 | Research | Uitgave 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2019

Foot structure, pain and functional ability in people with gout in primary care: cross-sectional findings from the Clinical Assessment Study of the Foot

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2019
Helen R. Petty, Trishna Rathod-Mistry, Hylton B. Menz, Edward Roddy



Gout frequently affects the foot yet relatively little is known about the effects of gout on foot structure, pain and functional ability. This study aimed to describe the impact of gout in a UK primary care population.


A cross-sectional study was nested within an observational cohort study of adults aged ≥50 years with foot pain. Participants with gout were identified through their primary care medical records and each matched on age (±2 years) and gender to four participants without gout. Differences in person-level variables (SF-12 Physical Component Score, Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index and Short Physical Performance Battery) between gout and non-gout participants were determined using regression models. Differences in foot-level variables (pain regions, skin lesions, deformities, foot posture, and non-weightbearing range of motion) were determined using multi-level regression models. All models were adjusted for body mass index. Means and probabilities with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.


Twenty-six participants with gout were compared to 102 participants without gout (77% male; mean age 66 years, standard deviation 11). Subtalar joint inversion and eversion and 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) dorsiflexion range of motion were significantly lower in the gout participants compared to the non-gout participants. Gout participants were more likely to have mallet toes and less likely to have claw toes compared to non-gout participants. There were no statistically significant differences in person-level variables, foot posture, ankle dorsiflexion range of motion, hallux valgus, pain regions, or skin lesions.


Non-weightbearing range of motion at the subtalar joint and 1st MTPJ was reduced in people with gout. Patients with gout who present with chronic foot problems should therefore undergo appropriate clinical assessment of foot structure.

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