How Does Arthritis Affect the Feet and Ankles?
Arthritis is a chronic, degenerative condition that causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation of your joints.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, many of which affect the feet and ankles. Each of your feet contains 28 bones and more than 30 joints that allow you to run, jump, pivot, and change directions.
Unfortunately, these capabilities also make them susceptible to wear-and-tear damage, swelling, and, in some cases, immobility. The symptoms you experience depend on the type of arthritis you have.
What Types of Arthritis Most Commonly Affect the Feet and Ankles?
Our Providers diagnose and treats three main types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis, also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs when your cartilage–a soft cushion-like substance that pads and protects your joints–begins to deteriorate and wear away. Ultimately, this causes your bones to rub up against one another, causing inflammation, stiffness, and general discomfort. Osteoarthritis typically develops slowly, causing your pain to become worse over time.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack the synovium, a sheath of tissue that covers and supports your joints. Over time, your synovium swells and infiltrates your surrounding bone, cartilage, and tendons causing deformities and, in some cases, disability.
- Posttraumatic Arthritis: Posttraumatic arthritis is the result of an accident or injury to your foot or ankle. If you dislocate or fracture your ankle, the cartilage between your joints begins to wear away. If you injure one or more joints, you’re also seven times more likely to develop posttraumatic arthritis.
- Thumb Arthritis
- Finger Arthritis
We also treat gout, a type of arthritis defined by excess uric acid that usually affects your feet and toes.
How is Arthritis Treated?
Treatment for arthritis depends on the type and severity of your symptoms. Our Providers use conservative, noninvasive measures of care whenever possible, including physical therapy, exercise, and prescription medications.
For example, if you have gout, there are medications that can control your uric acid levels and minimize pain. We also offer custom orthotics. Custom orthotics ensure your foot and ankle joints are properly aligned.
If your pain persists or conservative measures of care don’t provide adequate relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. During orthopedic surgery for foot and ankle arthritis, your doctor replaces your damaged joint with a prosthetic.
Foot and ankle arthritis is a common problem that requires treatment. To book your appointment, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool today.