Signs and Symptoms of Gout

Gout usually develops in the joint of the first toe (i.e., the big toe, or hallux). It also can affect the ankle or knee. Common symptoms of gout include the following:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling

Touching or moving the toe may be intensely painful and patients often say that having as much as a bed sheet over the toe increases the pain. Symptoms of gout develop quickly (sometimes in 1 day) and typically occur in only one joint at a time. Rarely, symptoms develop in two or three joints simultaneously.

If widespread symptoms occur, the condition is probably not gout. If left untreated, gout can damage joints and cause disability.

Publication Review By: John J. Swierzewski, D.P.M.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015