Arthritis is an umbrella term for a group of conditions affecting the joints. Symptoms vary depending on the kind of arthritis you have however common symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling of the affected joint. Because of the number of small joints in your feet, and the amount of pressure they take each day, they are especially prone to developing painful arthritis.
Common types of arthritis that can affect your feet are:
- osteoarthritis, or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis
- rheumatoid arthritis, which can result in joint deformities as well as pain
- gout, caused by an excess of uric acid in the joints
- hallux rigidus, or arthritis of the big toe joint
- ankle arthritis, which often develops following an earlier injury
Symptoms will depend on the kind of arthritis you have, but pain, stiffness and swelling of the affected joint are common.
It is important to see your podiatrist if you suffer from any form of arthritis in your feet and ankles. Your podiatrist can help not only to manage the symptoms of your arthritis, but also to slow its development and reduce the need for surgery.
Treatment of foot or ankle arthritis will usually include footwear advice, and fitting and modification of prescription foot orthoses. Custom-made prescription orthoses are especially important to the management of foot and ankle arthritis, because they can be used both to relieve pressure from affected areas and to correct any walking abnormalities that may be exacerbating your condition.
If you have or are concerned you may be developing arthritis in your foot or ankle, please contact us.
Big Toe Arthritis
Also called Hallux Limitus meaning Osteoarthritis affecting the big toe joint. It is described as a jamming of the big toe joint. The jamming of the joint is commonly caused by excessive foot pronation (rolling in). Hallux limitus may also be secondary to trauma or inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Midfoot arthritis results from a history of trauma to the middle section of the foot. Pain across the middle of the foot, swelling and stiffness are the most common symptoms.
Ankle arthritis results from a history of trauma to the ankle. This trauma is often a severe ankle fracture or a series of recurrent injuries to the ankle. Other ways it may develop include abnormal foot posture (eg. flat foot deformity) or secondary to inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Ankle pain, swelling and stiffness are the most common symptoms.