Untreated gout can be a very painful and destructive process to the joints of the feet and ankles. Gout stems from a metabolic condition that results in an increase in a byproduct leading to the deposition of painful crystals into joints, especially in the evenings, when body temperature in these areas drops. Sometimes, gout can be precipitated by undersecretion of the same byproduct by the kidneys. Regardless of the underlying situation, the disease itself erodes the joints and makes daily activities extremely difficult and painful. The joint destruction with each attack of gout is irreversible. Therefore, prompt treatment and management is essential.
If you have sudden pain, redness, swelling in any part of your foot or ankle, prompt evaluation by your podiatrist with x-rays, a thorough history and physical exam, and some basic labwork is essential. Treatments can include immobilization, oral or injectable anti-inflammatories, and possible long-term management with gout medication. A discussion about diet and nutrition may also be helpful in managing this condition.