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.
Anyone can develop arthritis at any time, but it occurs more frequently with age. Arthritis — also known as osteoarthritis — is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage in joints wears away. Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue that helps cushion the bones of joints so they don’t rub against each other. Cartilage also helps absorb impact.
Some people are at higher risk of developing arthritis in their feet, such as those with high arches or flat feet, because these conditions can place too much stress on their feet. If you have arthritis in your feet, the sooner you learn ways to manage it, the less damage it may cause in your feet and ankles.
Like most other cases of arthritis, having arthritis in your feet can be painful. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
While these symptoms can give you a pretty good idea that you have arthritis, the best way to know for sure is to have a doctor take a look. Your doctor may use imaging technology, such as an MRI, X-rays, or CT scans, to confirm that you have arthritis in your feet or ankles.
If you have arthritis in your feet or ankles, there are a variety of conservative treatments that may help you manage the condition, including the following:
If the treatments above don’t help, or your arthritis continues to get worse, Dr. Berg may recommend surgery for your feet or ankles.
One procedure Dr. Berg may recommend is fusion surgery. With this surgery, Dr. Berg fuses specific bones together with pins, rods, plates, or screws. Another procedure Dr. Berg may recommend is joint replacement therapy. With this surgery, your damaged joints are removed and replaced with artificial joints made out of metal or plastic.
If you have arthritis in your feet or ankles, or if you want to see if you do and want to learn about treatment options, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.