The term “arthritis” translates to “joint inflammation” and can affect one or more joints of the human body, including those in the feet and ankles. The chief symptoms that go together with this condition feature pain and stiffness in the affected joints. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are more options than ever before to help people get the relief they need to live active lives.
The foot is most commonly affected by these three arthritis types:
Osteoarthritis – degenerative arthritis that develops slowly and is most common after a person has reached middle age, but can occur in younger individuals.
Rheumatoid arthritis – is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can affect any joint in the body but typically begins with those of the foot or ankle. This arthritis type is also symmetrical – affecting precisely the same joint on both sides of the body.
Posttraumatic arthritis – this arthritis type develops after an injury, especially one that damages the surface of the joint has occurred in the foot or the ankle. The risk of developing arthritis is up to seven times more likely in an injured joint than one that hasn’t.
Foot and Ankle Arthritis Symptoms
Though pain and swelling are the main symptoms that people report when it comes to arthritis, there are other symptoms to be on the lookout for:
- Pain with movement of the affected joint or vigorous activity
- A sensation of tenderness when the joint is pressed on
- Warmth and redness in addition to the swelling of the affected joint
- Pain or swelling that is more extreme in the morning or after long periods of sitting or resting
- Difficulty with walking or other activities of daily living due to pain and stiffness
Foot and Ankle Arthritis Treatments
The first and most crucial step in finding the right treatment for your foot or ankle arthritis is to seek out a doctor who is trained and experienced in the treatment of foot and ankle arthritis. As a renowned foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Haupt is honored to provide state-of-the-art arthritis care to our community. The first step in treatment for most arthritis cases includes conservative, non-surgical options. Conservative arthritis treatments aim to help relieve the pain and disability and include things like medication, assistive devices like canes or braces, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications. In cases where the foot or ankle arthritis is too severe, or conservative options haven’t provided enough relief, surgery may be necessary. At Newport Foot & Ankle Center, we provide innovative foot and ankle joint preservation and joint replacement options so that our patients can get back to living active lives they love.
Joint Preservation: These techniques are employed when an arthritic joint has not sustained complete damage and preserving it remains an option. Arthroscopic debridement is used in early-stage arthritis as a “cleaning” procedure to remove inflamed tissue, the cartilage that has loosened, or bone spurs from around an arthritic joint. This surgery is best for people who are experiencing arthritis pain as a result of bone spur contact and for those who haven’t yet experienced significant joint space narrowing as a result of arthritis. Arthrodesis, on the other hand, is a fusion procedure designed to immobilize the painful joint so that it doesn’t cause pain upon movement.
Joint Replacement: As the name would suggest, joint replacement surgery involves replacing a damaged arthritic joint with a new one made from metal or plastic. The goal of a joint replacement is to restore proper function to the joint, thereby relieving the pain that was caused by the damaged one. Replacement of the ankle joint isn’t as frequent as hip or knee replacement, but significant medical advances in the design of ankle implants have made it an up-and-coming option for a wide range of patients.
Contact Us Today
If you or someone you know is dealing with foot or ankle arthritis, contact us today. With a breadth of experience in the treatment of a wide range of foot and ankle arthritis types, Dr. Haupt and his expert team are here to help.