Gout results from deposits of needle-like crystals of uric acid in connective tissue, joint spaces, or both. These deposits lead to inflammatory arthritis, causing swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joints. On the other hand, Osteoarthritis (OA) is not an autoimmune disease. It is a condition of wear and tear associated with aging or injury. The immune system is not affected.

Comparison chart

Gout versus Osteoarthritis comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartGoutOsteoarthritis
Joint Symptoms Arthritic joint pain, swelling, redness, warmth, and extreme tenderness. In some cases, the development of tophi Joints painful but without swelling; affects joints asymmetrically; affects bigger joints such as hips & knees. Localized with variable, progressive course
Treatment Resting the joint and applying ice, NSAIDS, corticosteroids, colchicine (a painkiller), medications that target uric acid production or excretion, healthy diet low in purines (from alcohol, meat, fish). NSAIDs (short term use) Acetaminophen, Analgesics, exercise
Diagnosis Imaging tests, drawing fluid from the swollen joint for analysis, blood tests x-ray, pain assessment- perarticular and articular source of pain, presence of deformity, evidence of muscle wasting, local inflammation. asymmetrical joints
Presence of symptoms affecting the whole body (systemic) Chills and a mild fever along with a general feeling of malaise may also accompany the severe pain and inflammation Systemic symptoms are not present. Localized joint pain (Knee and hips) but NO swelling Pain severity is important (mechanical, inflammatory, noctornal, sudden)
Cause Hyperuricemia — overabundance of crystalline monosodium urate (uric acid) deposits in the blood and joint fluid. wear and tear associated w/ aging or injury, also caused by injuries to the joints, obesity, heredity, overuse of the joints from sports
Associated symptoms Tophi may form.These are large masses of uric acid crystals, which gets collected in the joints and damage it.They also gets collected in the bone and cartilage, such as in the ears. (no systemic symps) fatigue, muscle weakness, fever, organ involvement; Bony enlargement, deformity, instability, restricted movement, joint locked, sleep dist,depression, comorbid conditions (bursitis, fibromyalgia, gout)
Disease Process metabolic desease Normal wear and tear (chronic degenerative)
Gender More common in men than women; in women after menopause Common in both men and women. Before 50 more men than women, after 50 more women than men
Pattern of joints that are affected Joint of the big toe most commonly affected. other joints affected are of ankle, heel, knee, wrist, fingers, elbow etc. Asymmetrical & may spread to the other side. Symptoms begin gradually and are often limited to one set of joints, usually the finger joints closest to the fingernails or the thumbs, large weight-bearing joints,
Age of onset usually over 35 yrs of age in men and after menopause in females Over 60
Speed of onset sudden onset Slow, over years

Signs and symptoms

Location of joints involved

With OA, inflammation generally occurs at the joint closest to your fingernail. On the other hand gout usually affects the joints in the big toe. Some other parts that could get affected by gout are ankle, heel, knee, wrist, fingers, elbow, etc.


Adult men, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 50, are more likely to develop gout than women, who rarely develop the disorder before menopause. People who have had an organ transplant are more susceptible to gout.

OA is much more common than Gout. In the United States alone, an estimated 20 million people have osteoarthritis.


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