My big toe started with pain 3 days ago. Today it is swollen. It feels as if it is in the middle joint. How can one tell if it is "turf toe" or gout?
Turf toe is a sprain to the ligament at the base of the big toe or great toe. It can occur after a very vigorous upward bending of the big toe causing a sprain to the ligaments under base of the big or great toe. Symptoms include swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe and metatarsal bone in the foot. Pain and tenderness will be felt on bending the toe or pulling it upwards.
If pain in the joint at the base of the big toe comes and goes, lasting for around a week at a time, with no obvious cause then consider gout as a possible cause of the toe pain.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. The most common place for gout to develop is the ball of the big toe but other joints can be affected. It is unusual for gout to affect more than one or two joints at a time.
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