There are numerous forms of arthritis that can impact the foot and ankle. Two of the most common forms are gout and osteoarthritis. In this article, we are going to discuss the differences between gout and osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle.
Gout is a common form of arthritis characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints—most commonly the big toe. These attacks generally occur overnight, and the joint usually becomes warm to the touch, swollen, and very painful. The pain can be significant and may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Gout occurs most often in men between 30 and 50, though women are more likely to develop symptoms after menopause.
Foot & Ankle Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is most often described as a “wear and tear” condition, usually developing when age and use have led to the deterioration of cartilage in our joints. Eventually, the linings of our joints, the bones themselves, and our connective tissue may also become affected. It affects both men and women—though men typically show signs earlier—and affects all races in equal measure according to US data. As you may imagine, most affected by OA are the hands, feet, spine, hips, and knees.
Treatment Options for Gout & Osteoarthritis
Treatment options for gout and osteoarthritis typically begin with conservative methods such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, lifestyle changes, and more. When these conservative options fail to provide adequate pain relief, or if there are other factors that need to be considered, surgical options may be considered to treat the gout or osteoarthritis.