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Digital flexion contracture and severe carpal tunnel syndrome due to tophaceus infiltration of wrist flexor tendon: first manifestation of gout.

Orthopedics 2011 November
The authors report an unusual case of flexor tenosynovitis, severe carpal tunnel syndrome, and triggering at the carpal tunnel as the first manifestation of gout. A 69-year-old man presented with digital flexion contracture and severe carpal tunnel syndrome of his right hand and was treated surgically. A flexor tenosynovectomy and a median nerve neurolysis were performed through an extended carpal tunnel approach. The sublimis and the profundus tendons were involved. Partial ruptures and multiple whitish lesions suggestive of tophacceous infiltration of the flexor tendons were seen. Macroscopically, the removed synovial tissue was involved by multiple whitish nodules that were milimetric in size and was suggestive of monosodium urate crystals deposits. By light microscopy examination, numerous nonnecrotizing granulomas of different sizes were observed that were compounded by large aggregations of acellular nonpolarized material, surrounded by epithelioid histiocytes, mononuclear cells, and foreign body multinucleated giant cells. Postoperatively, the patient recovered with resolution of the median nerve symptoms and a near-to-full range of motion of the affected digits.To the authors' knowledge, this patient is the first case report with flexor tendons tophacceous infiltration as the first clinical sign of gout. Gouty flexor tenosynovitis can occur in the absence of a long history of gout. A high index of suspicion is paramount to the initiation of proper management. Operative treatment of gouty flexor tenosynovitis is mandatory to debulk tophaceous deposits, improve tendon gliding, and decompress nerves. Routine uric acid determination could be helpful in the preoperative evaluation of patients with flexor tenosynovitis.

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