Advice needed on next steps ...

ShaunB Member Posts: 3


I am new to the community and I am seeking some advice from people in the know. However, reading some of the posts I feel a bit of a fraud as the problem I have pales into insignificance compared with some of the issues many of you are dealing with.

For some years I have had a sore big toe and two painful swelling flare ups which I was told by doctors over the phone that it may have been gout. The joint at the base of my big toe on my right foot had been stiff, achy, red and slightly swollen for a sustained period so I recently went for an x-ray and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis presumably at my big toe joint, with the doctor implying that there appeared to be no bone damage just wear and tear of the cartilage. Although, he did say that if the joint flares up again to go to the surgery so they can check for gout. This has left me very confused and I want to seek a better diagnosis, however I am not sure who best to see e.g. rheumatologist, foot and ankle clinic,  podiatrist, osteopath, etc. I would also like to know which specialist/clinic/doctor is best placed to advise on the best types of exercise (exercise to avoid), managing the pain, long term management, orthotics, etc.  

Any advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated?