A red, hot swollen big toe joint is often due to gout.  Gout is a condition in which the metabolism of certain proteins in your body results in excess uric acid.  This can create crystals which settle into joints (often the big toe joint or ankle) and cause a LOT of pain which seems to come on out of nowhere.

Another possible cause of this pain is an infection within the joint. 

Either of these conditions should be evaluated promptly in order to reduce the damage caused by prolonged inflammation or infection.  Call our office today if you have or have had a big toe joint attack!