Tibialis Posterior Tenosynovitis: A Unique Musculoskeletal Manifestation of Gout

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Abstract

Extra-articular manifestations of gout can present in several ways, including tenosynovitis. We present a rare case of acute tibialis posterior gouty tenosynovitis. An 82-year-old man with a history of well-controlled gout presented with acute onset of left ankle pain, occurring without inciting event. The medial ankle was slightly erythematous with moderate dorsal-medial swelling and mild dorsal-lateral swelling, with severe tenderness to palpation over the medial retro-malleolar region. Range of motion and manual muscle testing were pain limited throughout. Ultrasound examination revealed a left posterior tibialis tendon sheath tenosynovitis with effusion and overlying soft tissue edema. Tendon sheath aspirate revealed sodium urate crystals and a white blood cell count of 6400/μL. Tendon sheath injection with a mixture of 1% lidocaine and dexamethasone 4 mg resulted in symptom resolution. Repeat ultrasound examination demonstrated no evidence of tibialis posterior tendon sheath effusion. This case is unique not only because acute gouty posterior tibialis tenosynovitis is very rare, particularly in a normouricemic individual, but also because the sonographic evidence of gouty infiltration into the posterior tibialis tendon and overlying subcutaneous tissue considerably aided in arriving at the correct diagnosis in a timely manner.

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