Osteoarthritis or gout? How to tell them apart?

Tap the joint. People with gout have elevated uric acid in the blood. The uric acid cecomes urate crystals precipitates in the joints and causes gout attacks. When you aspirate the joint you see the urate crystals under the microscope, in the joint fluid and that confirms the diagnosis of gout.
Very different. Gout tends to be an arthritis with a rapid onset with severe pain, swelling, warmth, and difficulty moving the joints. Most patients with gout get the big toe involved. Osteoarthritis usually starts in different joints and does not have the rapid onset (24 hours) like gout. Also the above symptoms listed for gout are not as severe.In osteoarthritis. They are usually easily seperated by examination.

Related Questions

How to tell if bony growth on big toe base is a bunion, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis or gout/tophi? Only on right foot.

X-ray will help. As will your clinical history and exam. Goit is a diagnosis made largely by a blood test though gouty drpisits that are not invled or tophi do occur they often are very obvious and shoe up with x-ray too. Bone spurs from trauma can be commun in the big toe and many sports related issues can lead to mild DJD in the big toe. Ra is a DX that can be present though less likely to appear in only bone. Read more...
See a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is an expert in musculoskeletal medicine who can distinguish between the diagnoses you mention by asking questions, examining the toe, and doing tests if needed (x-ray, bloodwork, ultrasound etc). Bunions are slow growing and hard. Oa is more common >age50 and chronically stiff. Tophi usually softer, +/- yellow and go with sudden flares (red, swollen, painful), and RA symmetric. Read more...
See a podiatrist. Go see a podiatrist. Gout would flare up and you have intense pain. Arthritis is due to joint space narrowing which is very possible. Ra 36 yo male not likely and it is on both side, bunion is a possibility. Usually if the bony growth on the side of the big toe joint its a bunion. Top of the big toe joint is arthritis. Podiatrist can tell you exactly what you got and how to take care of it. Read more...