Between daily wear and tear, prior injuries, and the natural effects of aging, your risk of developing arthritis in your feet and ankles goes up with each step you take. At The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County, you can get effective arthritis pain solutions that provide relief right away. You can schedule your arthritis evaluation at the Watsonville or Santa Cruz, California, clinic locations by clicking on the online booking feature, or by calling your closest office directly.
Arthritis Q & A
Why do I have foot arthritis?
Arthritis is an umbrella term for several chronic conditions that lead to swelling and inflammation of cartilage and lining components within your joints. While you can certainly develop arthritis anywhere in your body, having it in your feet, toes, and ankles is common, often due to the regular wear and tear and repetitive stress that occurs on a daily basis, leading to osteoarthritis.
You can also develop arthritis in your feet or ankles due to:
- A family history of arthritis
- Poor diet or obesity
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Related inflammatory conditions, such as colitis
- Autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain prescription medications
It’s also common to have arthritis if you have had previous injuries in your feet or ankles, especially if your injury wasn’t properly treated.
How do I know if I have arthritis in my feet?
As with most types of arthritis, you’re probably going to notice some joint pain in your toes, feet, or ankles if you have arthritis in these areas. You may also experience:
- Swelling or tenderness
- Redness over the joint
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot
If you have gout, a type of arthritis that stems from uric acid buildup, you may feel severe stabbing pain in your big toe joint, although gout pain can affect your ankle, too.
What is the treatment for foot arthritis?
Treating arthritis depends, of course, on what’s causing it. Before putting together your treatment plan, your dedicated podiatrist at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County performs a thorough examination and may request some digital X-ray imaging to get a glimpse of what’s going on inside your joints.
The doctor may also order some lab testing to determine if you have any inflammatory markers or signs of infection that may be causing your arthritis. Once they understand your diagnosis, they can put together a personalized arthritis treatment plan that’s designed to minimize inflammation, preserve joint function, and delay the disease’s progression. You may need:
- Custom orthotic inserts
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Cortisone injections
- Supportive braces
- Physical therapy
In severe cases, you may need surgery. Arthritis surgery involves removing any damaged tissue or cartilage and, if needed, replacing a severely damaged joint with an artificial one.
Book your arthritis exam at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County by requesting an appointment online or by calling your nearby clinic.