Arthritic foot and ankle care helps many patients walk without pain. With age comes a higher risk of arthritis. Arthritic foot and ankle care can help patients manage their condition with minimal pain.
Arthritic foot and ankle care is available at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic in Thayne and the surrounding area. There is no need to suffer in silence. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Types of Arthritis in Foot and Ankle
Arthritis is a category of over 100 diseases that cause the inflammation of one or more joints. These conditions cause pain, swelling, and physical changes in the feet and ankles. The risk of arthritis also increases with age.
With most forms of arthritis, the joints wear down gradually, causing the patient to lose the smooth cartilage inside. Consequently, bones wear against each other, and the soft tissues inside may also wear away. Eventually, the joint may stop working or moving the way it should. Some of the most common forms of arthritis of the foot and ankle include:
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or age-related arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more severe forms of arthritis, as it causes the immune system to attack the joint. It typically occurs in the same joint on both sides of the body.
Gout occurs due to an excess of uric acid in the diet and is most common in the big toe, the body part furthest from the heart. Psoriatic arthritis can affect one or more joints, and may cause toe swelling (known as dactylitis). Finally, post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury, usually a bone fracture or dislocation. It is possible to go years without noticing.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Foot and Ankle
According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, arthritis symptoms vary depending on the specific joint affected and the specific condition affecting the patient. Usually, though, arthritic joints are painful and inflamed. Pain typically sets in gradually, but sudden onset is not uncommon either. Other common symptoms include:
- Increased pain and swelling in the morning or after sitting or resting
- Joint swelling, warmth, and redness
- Pain with motion
- Pain that flares up after vigorous activity
Many patients also find it difficult to walk due to these symptoms. Individuals finding themselves experiencing one or more of these symptoms should contact a doctor immediately.
Diagnosing Arthritis in Foot and Ankle
There are 26 bones and over 30 joints in the foot, all held together by tough bands of tissue called ligaments. These all work together with the various muscles of the foot to control motion and weight-bearing positions. Arthritis in the foot and ankle causes incapacitating pain that limits one’s range of motion.
While arthritis can develop in any of these joints, some are more frequently affected than others. Our doctors can help determine the exact source of pain and determine the best course of treatment for each patient’s unique situation. Diagnosis entails an overview of the patient’s complete medical history and a thorough physical examination. X-rays, laboratory tests, bone scans, CT scans, and MRI scans may also be necessary.
Treating Arthritis in Foot and Ankle
When it comes to treating arthritis in the foot and ankle, early intervention is key, as cartilage destruction is impossible to reverse. Untreated arthritis can damage both cartilage and bone, making it increasingly challenging to move the joints. Though most forms of arthritis are incurable, they can usually be controlled or brought into remission.
The primary goals of arthritis treatment involve controlling inflammation, preserving or restoring joint function, and, if possible, curing the disease. Each of our doctors makes sure each patient has a basic education about their condition, so they know what is affecting them, how it affects them, and why. He can also indicate physical therapy, exercise, medication, and other necessary treatments for the patient’s unique situation.
Call Us Today
Arthritis in the foot and ankle can be immobilizing and incapacitating. We at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can arthritis in the foot and ankle affect the knee, hip, and back joints?
Yes. All joints in the body are interconnected. Arthritic pain is likely to change how you walk, offloading any extra stress to other bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the legs and spine. As such, it is crucial to treat arthritic pain immediately.
Does wearing high heels increase the risk of developing arthritis in the foot and ankle?
Yes. Wearing high heels places excess pressure on the forefoot or the ball of the foot. This can lead to pain under the ball of the foot and premature arthritis, particularly in the first toe.
Which joints near the foot does osteoarthritis commonly affect?
Not including the ankle joint, osteoarthritis also commonly affects the great toe. This is also where gout or bunions typically develop, which can contribute to arthritis. Many people also get arthritis in the hindfoot, just below the ankle.
What sort of shoes should I wear for arthritis in the foot and ankle?
Look for shoes shaped like your feet that offer good support. They should have rubber soles for more cushioning. They should also be flexible and fit correctly. Do not be afraid to ask a salesperson for help if you feel lost.
What are some reliable home remedies for arthritis?
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve any arthritic pain. However, you should consult your doctor before use, as they can also have side effects such as stomach irritation. Creams with capsaicin or menthol can also stop the nerves from sending pain signals. Many patients also benefit from comprehensive therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, and tai chi.
What lifestyle changes may I need to make to live with yoga in the foot and ankle?
Avoid carrying out any activities that trigger flare-ups. If you partake in high-impact exercises, try to switch to low-impact ones instead. Those who are overweight may also benefit from keeping a healthy weight.