I sympathise as I am a fellow sufferer and have been for over thirty years. The condition has passed down the paternal line of my family for at least three generations, although I have to say that my condition is exacerbated by my refusal to cut out real ale and other purine rich foodstuffs.
The attacks get more frequent as you get older and are likely to spread to other joints, including your fingers if you are really unlucky. There are medicines available which disperse the uric acid before it has the chance to form crystals but I understand that they can have some unwanted side effects. I hope you don't suffer too badly!