Arthritis Q & A
What are the Most Common Forms of Arthritis in the Feet and Ankles?
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, which is a catchall term for joint pain and inflammation. Arthritis can strike almost any joint in your body, but your feet are especially vulnerable because each foot contains 33 joints, and your feet are under no small amount of daily stress.
The most common forms of arthritis that affect your feet and ankles include:
- Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis is the most common. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease in which wear-and-tear breaks down the cartilage within your joints, allowing your bones to rub together unprotected.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Considered an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops when your immune system mistakenly attacks the linings inside your joints. RA typically affects the small joints in your feet.
- Gout: If you have a buildup of uric acid in your system, it can lead to the formation of sharp, crystal-like structures inside your joints. Gout most commonly affects your big toe.
- Traumatic Arthritis: If you’ve injured your feet or ankles, you’re more susceptible to developing arthritis, which can crop up many years after your initial injury.
There are many other forms of arthritis, but these represent the primary culprits when it comes to pain and inflammation in the joints in your feet and ankles.
What are the Signs of Arthritis?
While there are many different forms of arthritis that can affect your feet and ankles, they all share two things in common — pain and inflammation in your joints.
Other signs that arthritis may be present include:
- Increasing stiffness
- Rashes or skin changes
The bottom line is that any discomfort or pain in your foot warrants a visit to Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center.
How is Arthritis Treated?
After reviewing your symptoms, your podiatrist at Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center typically orders diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, to take a closer look inside your joint.
If they find that arthritis has taken hold, your provider designs a treatment plan with the goal of relieving your pain and restoring mobility. This plan may include:
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
- MLS Laser Therapy
There’s no cure for arthritis, but there’s much Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center can do to slow the progression of your arthritis to keep you on your feet and active.
If your arthritis is advanced and the damage irreparable, you may be a good candidate for joint replacement surgery, which you can explore with your doctor.
For expert care of your arthritis, call Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center or use the online scheduler.