Your joints have protective cartilage – the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of the bones and acts as a cushion with movement. If this cartilage were to wear away, you may experience pain and inflammation.
Arthritis is a condition that is characterized by the progressive wearing away of cartilage and is usually caused by wear and tear. However, traumatic injuries can accelerate the breakdown of cartilage in what’s called post-traumatic arthritis. Additionally, rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack joint tissues, can also cause chronic pain and inflammation.
Any joint can be affected by arthritis. You may be most familiar with knee and hip arthritis, but the joints in your hands and foot are also susceptible.
Arthritis of the Foot
The joints in your feet are weight-bearing, which means they hold you up, support the weight of your body, and keep you balanced. They also have the essential role of propulsion, which is important for walking, running, and jumping. The fact that being on your feet is part of daily life makes your feet susceptible to the wear and tear type of arthritis, which is osteoarthritis.
The joints in the foot that are most commonly affected by arthritis are the joint where the ankle and shinbone meet, the three joints that include the heel bone and the inner and outer mid-foot bone, and the big toe joint. The type of arthritis that usually affects the big toe joint is called gout, and it is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals around the joint. The foods you eat are usually what contribute to the development of gout.
What Are The Symptoms of Foot Arthritis?
The symptoms of arthritis in the foot are pain and tenderness, stiffness and swelling, and limited mobility. Since feet are critical to mobility, arthritis of the foot should be given medical attention right away to control pain and inflammation, prevent damage from getting worse, and restore function and mobility.
How is Foot Arthritis Treated?
Treatment for foot arthritis is personalized. Your treatment plan could include specialized exercises, pain medications, lifestyle changes, injection therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. An abnormal foot structure can lead to abnormal biomechanics, which can accelerate the wearing away of the cartilage on the joints of the foot. If this is the case, custom orthotics can help provide support and distribute your weight evenly.
If you suspect that you may have foot arthritis, have it checked out by an orthopedic doctor to find out what your treatment options are. You do not have to wait for the pain to get worse. The earlier you see a doctor, the more options you have for treatment, and the higher the chance of getting a satisfactory outcome.
Foot Doctor in Naples, FL
If you are looking for expert arthritis care, choose the Joint Replacement Institute for your treatment. Our orthopedic specialists offer the most advanced pain management therapies and treatments for alleviating painful foot arthritis symptoms and helping your body heal itself. Our treatments are individualized, with specific recommendations regarding diet and lifestyle, to help you achieve better joint health. To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors, call our clinic today at (239) 261-2663 or use our convenient appointment request form.