Inflammation and Pain in Foot Joints

What could be my problem?

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints.  Acute gout attacks are characterized by a rapid onset of pain in the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration and marked tenderness.

The small joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site for an attack.  These painful attacks usually subside in hours to days with or without medication.  In rare instances, an attack can last for weeks.

What causes Gout?

  • Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.
  • Uric acid is produced when your body breaks down purines – substances found normally in your body as well as in certain foods – steak, organ meats, seafood, alcoholic beverages and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar.
  • Uric acid buildup forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation, and swelling.

When to see a foot doctor about Gout:

  • Sudden intense pain in a joint in your feet
  • Lingering, discomfort from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and redness – the affected foot joint becomes swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited range of motion in your feet

Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and joint damage

Seek medical care immediately if you have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection.

If I have Gout, what are my foot pain treatment options?


  •   Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs
  •   Medications that block uric acid production
  •   Medications that improve uric acid removal


  • First Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) Joint Resection Arthroplasty:

    Used to treat severe first MTP joint arthritis. An incision is made by a foot surgeon over the first MTP joint and carried down to the affected joint. The joint capsule is then opened to expose the diseased joint. The joint surfaces along with a small amount of bone are removed from the arthritic joint which creates a space. Tissues around the area are then sewn together to stabilize the space. The joint capsule and skin are closed with stitches. The space created may subsequently fill with scar tissue.

  • Joint Replacement:  

    When a first MTP joint replacement is required the joint is removed and replaced with metal, plastic or a combination of both. The primary goal is to lessen pain, return normal motion and improve the position of the big toe.