Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Specialists
Pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion are among the significant signs of arthritis that have sufferers searching for solutions. Arthritis, a blanket term used for joint inflammation, can result in damage to the cartilage and bones of the foot and ankle. As symptoms develop, they can significantly restrict your ability to easily perform daily activities. Arthritis in your lower joints often causes them to hurt when you try to walk or put weight on them. Arthritic joints can also experience increased pain and swelling after long periods of rest, like sleeping. If you are experiencing joint tenderness upon touch, warmth, pain, and stiffness in your foot and ankle joints, it is time to see a foot and ankle specialist.
Arthritic Feet and Ankle Arthritis are Common in Adults
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the foot and ankle. This type of arthritis is due to joint degeneration and it is most common in older adults, as it's caused by the joint wearing away with use. Over time, the space between your bones decreases as the cartilage wears away, resulting in bone-on-bone rubbing. This type of arthritis usually affects a specific joint and the risk increases with obesity, injury to the joint, and genetics.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is chronic, inflammatory arthritis. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissue and joints, causing damage to the bones and cartilage. Over time, the joints may become deformed.
Treating Arthritic Feet and Ankle Arthritis
Treatment is largely determined by the type and severity of your arthritis. In many cases, Physical Therapy has a positive impact on the symptoms of arthritis and often helps to slow the disease’s progression. When it comes to osteoarthritis, lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and stretching have shown to have a great impact on symptom relief. For RA, therapy is often used in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, and immunosuppressive drugs. Walking is recommended for all types of arthritis to keep the joints moving and flexible, and increase your bone and overall health.
In some cases, surgery is needed to relieve the pain from arthritis. Surgical options include arthroscopic surgery, fusion surgery, or joint replacement surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive and used to "clean out" the joint. The surgeon can remove bone spurs or cartilage fragments, improving the function of the joint. Fusion surgery is used in severe joint damage cases and is the process of using pins or plates to permanently secure two bones together. Fusing the bones together can make the joint more stable and help the foot and ankle function better. Finally, total joint replacement surgery is a procedure to remove the damaged part of the bone and cartilage and replace it with an artificial implant.
Take the First Step Toward Wellness
An investment in your feet is an investment in your quality of life.