What Are the Symptoms of Ankle Gout?

Sandi Johnson

Gout is a type of arthritis involving the buildup of uric acid in the blood, resulting in joint inflammation in the hands, wrists, or lower extremities. In the case of ankle gout, the onset of symptoms is typically severe, but may only affect one ankle. Often, individuals wake in the middle of the night to excruciating pain in and around the ankle joint. The joint typically appears red and swollen, and the patient may also have a mild fever. Pain is most often more intense during the first 24 hours of an attack, although discomfort usually continues to linger for days after initial onset.

Overweight individuals have an increased risk of developing gout.
Overweight individuals have an increased risk of developing gout.

Symptom severity increases and more symptoms present when a person suffers from chronic ankle gout rather than just an acute attack of gout. For example, people with chronic ankle gout often have more pain and tenderness, increased swelling, a fever, loss of motion in the ankle, and other symptoms. Both ankles, as well as other joints, may also be affected or show signs of gout as the disease progresses.

Full fat dairy products can exacerbate gout.
Full fat dairy products can exacerbate gout.

After years of the disease, it is not uncommon for lumps to appear around the ankle joint, most often near the Achilles tendon. Tophi, the term used for such lumps, is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals around the bones and soft tissue of the affected joint. It is not uncommon for people with chronic ankle gout to have tophi that discharge a white, chalky substance. Few patients report pain associated with these lumps, but their appearance is often used in diagnosing or confirming a diagnosis of chronic gout.

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Swelling and pain around the ankle joint are common symptoms of gout.
Swelling and pain around the ankle joint are common symptoms of gout.

According to research, roughly half of all individuals who experience an acute attack of ankle gout will have another attack. With each attack, symptom severity typically increases, as does the potential for damage to the joint. Once the condition becomes chronic, sufferers typically have intense pain and tenderness to the point that even bed linens resting on the ankle will cause extreme discomfort. Eventually, symptoms will include the loss of motion in the affected ankle, a direct result of joint damage.

Those with gout should avoid eating sardines, because they are rich in purine.
Those with gout should avoid eating sardines, because they are rich in purine.

Each individual experiences a different level of symptoms, based on the severity of the disease and numerous health factors. Diet, exercise, and other medical conditions can affect the frequency and severity of symptoms in patients with chronic ankle gout. While there is no cure for gout, changes in the patient's lifestyle, including a low-purine diet, are typically recommended to reduce symptoms.

Gout is a type of arthritic disease that usually affects the joints in the lower part of the body.
Gout is a type of arthritic disease that usually affects the joints in the lower part of the body.
Many types of meat, especially those high in fat can contribute to gout.
Many types of meat, especially those high in fat can contribute to gout.
Symptoms associted with ankle gout can also appear in other joints, including the knees.
Symptoms associted with ankle gout can also appear in other joints, including the knees.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

@raynbow- I also have heard of people experiencing warmth in their ankles when they have ankle gout. I think that each person's symptoms are different depending on how severe his or her cause of gout is.

Raynbow

My grandfather was diagnosed with gout in his left ankle after several weeks of pain. Another symptom that he had was a very warm sensation around the ankle joint. It also felt warm to the touch. Are these also common symptoms for people with ankle gout?

Ocelot60

I have a mild case of ankle gout, and taking short walks each day helps to keep me active and free of pain. Wearing a good pair of athletic shoes also helps.

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