Foot And Ankle Arthritis Diagnosis
Your doctor will ask about your medical history and do tests that might include:
- Custom-fitted shoes
Surgery for foot and ankle arthritis
Some people need at least one kind of surgery to treat foot and ankle arthritis. Your doctor will suggest the treatment thatâs best for you. Surgeries for arthritis include:
- Fusion surgery. This is also called arthrodesis. It involves fusing bones together with rods, pins, screws, or plates. After they heal, the bones remain joined.
- Joint replacement surgery. This is mostly used in severe cases. Your doctor may call it arthroplasty. Theyâll take out damaged bone and cartilage and replace it with metal or plastic.
What Is A Cortisone Shot
A cortisone shot is a medication that is injected into the body to help relieve pain and inflammation. It contains a type of steroid, for example, triamcinolone or dexamethasone, which is what helps to reduce inflammation. The steroid is usually mixed with a local anesthetic which increases the volume of medication to be injected and there is also a beneficial effect from the local anesthetic too, providing almost immediate relief until the cortisone kicks in.
Common areas that are injected are joints and the plantar fascia . Another common area that is injected is a Mortons neuroma.
Treating And Preventing Metatarsalgia
The following measures will often help improve metatarsalgia and stop it coming back:
- rest your feet put your feet up regularly and avoid activities that make the pain worse try low-impact activities such as cycling or swimming instead of sports that involve a lot of running or jumping
- use an ice pack apply an ice pack to the affected area for about 20 minutes several times a day make sure you wrap it in a towel so it doesn’t damage your skin
- change your footwear try flat shoes that have plenty of room for your feet and have a well-cushioned sole replace any worn out shoes as they could make things worse
- use shock-absorbing pads or insoles these can fit inside your shoes to help cushion your feet they’re available from pharmacies and sports shops, or can be bought online
- maintain a healthy weight adopting a healthy, balanced diet and doing regular low-impact exercises can help you lose weight if you’re overweight
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve pain and swelling if necessary
Try these measures for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
Read Also: Chop Orthopedics King Of Prussia
Exercise Tips For Arthritic Feet And Ankles
Pain in the feet and ankles is commonplace for arthritis sufferers, especially as aging causes a progression of the condition. The human foot has 30 joints, and each one can become a source of pain and stiffness.
At Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine in Kirkland, Washington, our podiatrists work with you to help mitigate the effects of arthritis on your feet and ankles. Part of living with arthritis is staying active, so here are seven exercises tips you can implement for better flexibility and reduced inflammation.
Recognizing The Signs Of Arthritis In Your Feet
When you think about arthritis, you may think about it occurring in one of your major joints, such as your hips or knees. However, any joint in your body can develop arthritis. And your feet contain a lot of joints, with 28 bones and 30 joints in the average human foot.
Like any other joints, the ones in your feet and ankles can develop pain and swelling from arthritis. The good news is there are treatment options. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates explains some of the symptoms of arthritis of the feet and ankles and what you can do if you have the condition.
You May Like: 16 Foot Farm Gates For Sale
Learn About Your Surgery Options
When foot arthritis is severe and conservative treatment options fail, surgical intervention may be an option. One type is a fusion of the big toe joint, which fuses together the two bones that make up your joint. This limits the joints range of motion, helping to eliminate the source of pain. Another option is joint replacement surgery for the toe joints. Both are considered end-game measures, but for people who are healthy enough to withstand surgery, it can allow them to function much better.
Arthritis In The Hindfoot
Arthritis in the hindfoot affects the three joints below the ankle and above the heel: the subtalar joint, the talonavicular joint, and the calcaneocuboid joint. Together, these joints allow the foot to have side-to-side movement, as well as other motions, and aid in bearing the weight of the body. Arthritis in these joints can cause pain and swelling in the feet and ankles.
You May Like: Pain In The Bottom Of Foot Near Toes
Skin Issues With Ra In The Feet
Changes in your foot shape can result in pressure spreading out unevenly across your foot as you walk. Excess pressure can result in skin conditions:
- Bunions are thick, bony bumps that develop in the joint at the base of your big toe or fifth toe.
- Corns are thick, hardened skin patches that may be larger and less sensitive than the rest of your foot skin.
If theyre not treated, both bunions and corns can develop into ulcers. These are open sores that result from skin breaking down due to a lack of circulation or tissue damage in the foot. Ulcers can become infected and cause further foot pain and damage.
What Are The Home Remedies And Ways To Prevent Metatarsalgia
Preventing pain in the balls of the feet may require a lifestyle change. Endurance and high-activity athletes should incorporate rest days each week to give the feet time to heal properly. Icing the feet in 20-minute intervals after especially long or intense runs can also aid in prevention. If you are at risk of developing metatarsalgia, consider purchasing orthotic or commercial shoe inserts, which can help align the foot and provide extra cushioning.
If you suspect you have metatarsalgia, ice the painful area regularly to reduce inflammation, and apply a pressure bandage. Try not to put weight on that foot for 24 hours, and consider taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen. If you cannot fully rest, metatarsal pads and other orthotic devices can provide some relief. Switch to more comfortable and supportive footwear, like running shoes, and take a break from high-level activity, such as exercise. Targeted stretches can ease pain and increase your flexibility. Losing weight within a healthy range can help relieve metatarsal pressure as well.
Also Check: Brown Freckle-like Spots On Feet And Ankles
What Are The Treatment Options For Big Toe Joint Arthritis
If you are experiencing stiffness or pain in the big toe joint, call our office at or fill out the schedule appointment form on this page so Stuart Katchis, M.D. can evaluate and diagnose your condition. Big toe joint arthritis is a progressive condition that gets worse over time and treatment outcomes are significantly improved if medical evaluation is sought when symptoms first start.
In many cases, symptoms of big toe joint arthritis can be successfully treated or managed long-term with nonsurgical methods.
How Can I Treat Foot Or Ankle Pain When It Starts
Most foot or ankle pain can be treated without the need to see a healthcare professional.
Soft-tissue injuries should begin to improve over the first few days with the help of some simple self-care tips. You may need to be careful and protect the injured area for several months, until it has fully recovered.
You May Like: Foot And Ankle Pain When Walking
Is Pain In Your Feet A Sign Of Diabetes
Pain in your feet is not always a sign of diabetes. The pain in your feet due to diabetes is most commonly caused by decreased circulation and nerve damage.
From Our Google Reviews
Great doctor! He worked with me to avoid surgery when I first went there , and when it was apparent that surgery was necessary on the other foot, it went very well. Great staff, would highly recommend.
Symptoms Of Arthritis In Your Feet
Like other types of arthritis, having arthritis in your feet can be pretty painful. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Trouble standing or putting weight on your feet
Tenderness when touching the affected joints
Pain when moving your ankles or feet
Redness or swelling of affected joints
Swelling or discomfort even when resting.
While these symptoms indicate that you have arthritis, the best way to know for sure is to be examined by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist may use an MRI, CT scans, or X-rays to confirm that you have arthritis in your ankles or feet.
Read Also: Side Cut Out Ankle Booties
Identifying The Signs Of Arthritis In Your Feet
When most people think about arthritis, major joints such as knees or hips usually come to mind. But the truth is that any joint in your body can become arthritic. And like any other joints, those in your ankles and feet can develop swelling and pain from arthritis. So, because May is Arthritis Awareness Month, today Dr. Ross Cohen of The Foot & Ankle Center of Maryland in Anne Arundel County, Maryland is sharing more information regarding arthritis of the ankles and feet.
Who Can Help My Foot Or Ankle Pain
There are trained healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating problems affecting the foot and lower leg.
Podiatrists are trained foot specialists, they used to be called chiropodists. They can offer you:
- advice on padding, dressings, specialist insoles, splints and supports
- advice about footwear and exercise
- small non-surgical procedures
- advice on medication
Different areas have different rules for who can be referred to an NHS podiatrist. Some only refer people if they have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or peripheral arterial disease. Other authorities may have broader terms.
If you visit a podiatrist privately you will need to pay for your appointments and any treatment. However, they can refer you for some services, such as scans or x-rays, on the NHS.
You can find a private podiatrist by visiting:
Physiotherapists are trained to use movement, exercise, manual therapy, and advice to help get your foot and ankle moving again. They will show you exercises to practice at home to support your recovery.
In some areas you can self-refer to an NHS physiotherapist. Otherwise, your doctor will request an appointment for you.
You can see a physiotherapist privately, though you would have to pay for your treatment. To find a registered private physiotherapist visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Recommended Reading: Houston Orthopedic And Spine Surgery Center
How Ra Affects Feet
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. When you have RA, your immune system tries to destroy the lining of your joints, called synovium. It also attacks the fluid in your joints, called synovial fluid. It does this because it mistakes these parts of your body for disease-causing invaders.
RA causes damage and inflammation that makes your joints swell and feel warm. The small joints, like those in the feet, are the most common targets of these attacks.
Eventually, long-term inflammation thickens the synovium. This causes cartilage and bone to wear away. In the feet and toes, the joints may become deformed. This leads to poor range of motion and considerable pain. Walking, standing, and even wearing shoes can become difficult.
Proper treatment may help reduce the damage and inflammation to your foot joints. It may also prevent or delay deformities and other problems.
Haglund’s Deformity Or Pump Bump
Haglund’s deformity or “pump bump” is a bony enlargement at the back of the heel. Pain is aggravated by shoe wear, especially pumps worn by women, and certain activities.
Patients may wear open back shoes to avoid pressure to the posterior heel. Treatments for Haglunds deformity include shoe modification, immobilization, medications and surgery.
Don’t Miss: Orthopedic Foot And Ankle Specialists
Foot And Ankle Arthritis Types
Arthritis is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases. It can involve inflammation and swelling in and around your joints and the nearby soft tissue.
With many kinds of arthritis, your joints wear down over time. You slowly lose the smooth “cushioning” cartilage inside them. As a result, your bones rub and wear against each other. Soft tissues in your joints also may begin to wear down. After some time, the joint might not work or move the way it should.
- Osteoarthritis, or “wear-and-tear” arthritis, is the most common type. Doctors also call it degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually causes changes over many years. The foot and ankle joints where itâs most common are:
- The three joints involving your heel bone, your inner mid-foot bone, and your outer mid-foot bone
- The joint of your big toe and foot bone
- The joint where your ankle and shinbone meet
Big Toe Joint Preservation
During the surgical procedure for big toe joint preservation, detached cartilage is removed and remaining bone is debrided or drilled to promote new cartilage growth. Additional joint decompression osteotomy, or shortening, to prevent joint jamming and increase range of motion. The surgery is performed at an outpatient center or hospital facility with sedation and/or general anesthesia. Patients should be non weight-bearing while wearing a removable CAM walker boot placing stabilizing pressure on the heel until the sutures are removed after 2 weeks.
Patients should follow an additional non weight-bearing instruction for 2 more weeks, followed by partial weight-bearing and gradual return to full weight-bearing with a supportive shoe in 4-6 weeks.
Recommended Reading: Black Heels With Ankle Strap
Pain In The Ball Of The Foot
, DPM, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
Pain in the ball of the foot is called metatarsalgia and may have many different causes .
The most common causes include
Age-related thinning of the fat pad cushion in the ball of the foot
Often, developing one disorder that causes pain in the ball of the foot contributes to development of another disorder that causes pain in the same location.
Arthritis In The Big Toe
Arthritis in the big toealso called hallux rigidusis common. It typically affects the first metatarsophalangeal joint, which is located at the base of the big toe and connects the toe to the rest of the foot. Every time you take a step, this joint bears your body weight arthritis in this joint can increasingly limit your ability to walk without pain.
You May Like: Walking On Outside Of Foot
How Do I Get Rid Of Joint Pain In My Big Toe
The simplest way to get rid of joint pain in your big toe is to first assess where the big toe pain is. For example, the toe nail can become very painful with excessive shoe pressure, and wearing bigger, or open-toed shoes can get rid of this pain. Joint pain can be treated with more support, custom molded orthotics and oral anti-inflammatories.
Changes In The Shape Of Your Arch
The arch is the inside mid-section of your foot. It determines how your bodyweight is spread and carried by the bones and joints of your feet.
For your foot to function at its best the arch should form a smooth arc from the ball of the foot to the heel.
The height of your arch may never cause you any kind of problems. Some people are born with arches that are higher or lower than average and their bodies adapt to them.
Other people may find their arch shape alters because of complications such as arthritis, weight, pregnancy, or injury. These changes can make you more likely to develop further problems in other parts of your foot, ankle, knee, hip and back.
If you are in pain and think your arch shape has changed speak to a healthcare professional about treatments. Insoles or supports made specially for your foot shape by an orthotist could improve pain caused by high or low arches.
Read Also: How To Tape Ankle Sprain
Arthritis Risks And Complications That May Develop
In most cases, arthritis cannot be cured and the disease will continue to progress. Even with the best of treatment, arthritis of the foot and ankle may continue to cause you pain or require you to limit your activities.
Severe disability from arthritis is rare, however, and usually seen in persons with rheumatoid arthritis.
Frequent use of anti-inflammatory medications is known to cause gastrointestinal upset. People with rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk for complications, such as peripheral neuropathy, infection, and skin or muscle problems.
How Long Does The Cortisone Shot Last And How Effective Is It In Treating Foot Pain
The amount of relief and for how long depends on what the injection is being used for. For foot pain, it is usually effective for a few months, but the duration of relief will depend on the individual and the underlying cause of their pain. For more acute injuries there is typically more inflammation and it is expected to see more beneficial relief with the injection. Conversely, if the area has been painful for a longer period, there typically is not as much inflammation, so the cortisone injection tends to not be as effective.
Don’t Miss: Foot Pain In Middle Of Arch