FOOT AND ANKLE OSTEOARTHRITIS
As we age, the possibility of developing osteoarthritis, caused by wear, increases. Joint damage associated with osteoarthritis causes swelling, pain and deformity. Here is information on how osteoarthritis affects the foot and ankle and the information you can use to help you manage this debilitating condition.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term for a group of over 100 diseases. The word "arthritis" means "joint inflammation". Arthritis involves inflammation and swelling in and around the joints of the body and the surrounding soft tissues. Inflammation can cause pain and stiffness.
In many types of arthritis, a progressive deterioration of the joints occurs and the smooth "cushioning" of the cartilage in the joints is gradually lost. As a result, the bones rub and rub against each other. Even the soft tissues of the joints can start to wear out. Arthritis can be painful and eventually cause limited movements, loss of joint function and deformity of the affected joints.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis or "wear" arthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop with people's age. Inflammation and joint injuries cause cartilage tissue rupture, resulting in pain, swelling and deformity. Changes in osteoarthritis usually occur slowly for many years, although there are occasional exceptions.
How does osteoarthritis affect the foot and ankle?
Each foot has 28 bones and more than 30 joints. The following are the most common foot joints affected by osteoarthritis:
- The three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone, the bone of the inner middle foot and the outer bone of the middle foot
- The joint of the big toe and the bone of the foot
- The joint where the ankle and the tibia meet
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis in the feet and ankle?
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle often include:
- Tenderness or pain
- Reduced ability to move, walk or weight
- Stiffness in the joint
- Swelling in the joint
How is osteoarthritis at the feet and ankle diagnosed?
The diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle will most likely involve:
- A medical history
- Physical examination
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT scans
How is osteoarthritis treated in the feet and ankle treated?
Osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle can be treated in many ways. Non-surgical methods for treating foot and ankle arthritis include:
- Steroid drugs injected into the joints
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce joint swelling
- Pads or supports for arches
- Sticks or braces to support the joints
- Inserts that support ankle and foot (orthotics)
- Custom shoes
- Weight control
Tips for treating the feet with osteoarthritis
The most essential element for foot care for people with osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle is to wear shoes that fit properly and feel comfortable. The following are things to look for when searching for a comfortable shoe:
- Foot-shaped shoes
- Shoes that have support - for example, without anti-slip shoes
- Rubber soles to provide greater cushioning
- Proper adaptation: ask the seller to help you with this
Exercise can help keep the feet painless, strong and flexible. The exercises that can be good for your feet include:
- Achilles stretches. With your palms leaning against a wall, lean against the wall and place one foot forward and one foot back. Lean forward, leaving the heels on the floor. You can feel the traction in the Achilles tendon and in the calf. Repeat this exercise three times, holding each repetition for 10 seconds.
- Lengthen Put a thick rubber band around your toes. Move your toes away from each other and towards each other. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Pull the tip. Put a rubber band around the toes of each foot and then spread the toes. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Curling the toe Collect the marbles with your toes.
Is Surgery an Option for Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis?
More than one kind of surgery may be required to treat foot and ankle osteoarthritis. Your doctor can select the kind of surgery that is best for you, depending on the extent of your arthritis. The following are some of the surgical options for foot and ankle osteoarthritis:
- Fusion surgery. This kind of surgery, also called arthrodesis, involves fusing bones together with the use of rods, pins, screws, or plates. After healing, the bones remain fused together.
- Joint replacement surgery. This kind of surgery involves replacing the ankle joint with artificial implants and is used only in rare cases.
Our Foot and ankle Specialists
At Orthopedic Treatment Italy, our team of sports medicine as well, are highly qualified in all conditions from common overuse to complex fractures and dislocations. If you are experiencing pain, contact us today and we’ll get you on the road to recovery and back to enjoying life.
OET GUARANTEES THE FOLLOWING SERVICES
- Doctor’s visit before discharge with suggestions for therapeutic indications of a medical nature (drugs) and physical (rehabilitation) post surgery
- Check up in 2 months required by us with a recent X-ray
- Check up 6-month on-line / in-situ check -with a recent X-ray
- Check up in 12 months online / in situ with a recent X-ray
- Check up every 2 to 3 years with a recent X-ray
Contact Orthopedic Treatment Italy today and let our qualified Knee doctors get you on the road to recovery.