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Knee Gout: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Diagnosis

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden and severe pain and swelling in one or more joints. It is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which can form sharp crystals in the joints. Gout most commonly affects the big toe joint, but it can also affect other joints, including the knees.

Symptoms of Knee Gout

The symptoms of knee gout typically come on suddenly and worsen over a few hours. They may include:

  • Severe pain in the knee joint
  • Swelling, redness, and warmth in the knee joint
  • Difficulty moving the knee joint
  • Fever

Gout attacks can last for several days or weeks. After the attack subsides, the joint may return to normal. However, many people with gout experience repeated attacks over time.

Causes of Knee Gout

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product that is produced when the body breaks down purines. Purines are substances found in many foods, including meat, seafood, and organ meats.

People with gout either produce too much uric acid or their kidneys do not excrete enough uric acid in the urine. This can lead to a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which can form crystals in the joints.

Risk Factors for Knee Gout

The following factors can increase your risk.

  • Male sex
  • Age over 40
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Family history of gout
  • Certain medications, such as diuretics and aspirin
  • Diet high in purines
  • Alcohol consumption


If you have the symptoms of knee gout, your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history. They may also order the following tests:

  • Blood test to measure your uric acid level
  • Joint fluid aspiration to test for uric acid crystals
  • X-ray or ultrasound of the knee joint to look for evidence of gout

Treatment of Knee Gout

The goal of treatment for knee gout is to relieve the pain and inflammation and prevent future attacks. Treatment options include:

  • Medications: There are a number of medications that can be used to treat gout, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, and corticosteroids.
  • Rest: It is important to rest the affected joint until the pain and swelling subside.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the affected joint can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Elevation: Elevating the affected joint can help to reduce swelling.

Prevention of Knee Gout

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent knee gout attacks, including:

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in purines.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take any medications prescribed by your doctor as directed.


Knee gout is a painful condition, but it can be treated and managed. If you think you may have knee gout, it is important to see a doctor right away. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of future attacks and live a full and active life.

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