Common arthritis symptoms of pain and stiffness are usually caused by degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis). Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage cushions the bones during movement. Osteoarthritis appears at various joints throughout the body, including the hands, feet, spine, hips, and knees. In the foot, the disease most frequently occurs in the big toe, although it is also often found in the midfoot and ankle.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis and gout. As the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects millions of people. A diagnosis is necessary in order to develop a treatment plan.
In many kinds of arthritis progressive joint deterioration occurs and the smooth “cushioning” cartilage in joints is gradually lost. As a result, the bones rub and wear against each other. Soft tissues in the joints also may begin to wear down. Arthritis can be painful and eventually result in limited motion, loss of joint function, and deformities in the joints affected.
As you age your chance of developing osteoarthritis, caused by wear and tear, increases. The joint damage associated with osteoarthritis causes swelling, pain, and deformity.
An injury may also lead to osteoarthritis, although it may take months or years after the injury for the condition to develop.
Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
The pain and stiffness you feel in your feet and ankles as you age could be arthritis. If left untreated, this nagging pain can get worse over time, eventually making it difficult to walk even short distances.
Contact a doctor if you notice one or more of the following:
In diagnosing osteoarthritis, your doctor will examine the foot thoroughly, looking for swelling in the joint, limited mobility and pain with movement. X-rays may be performed to evaluate the extent of the disease. More than one kind of surgery may be required to treat your foot and ankle.
Ankle Arthroplasty (Total Ankle Replacement)
Ankle Arthroplasty, also called Total Ankle Replacement, is a replacement surgery of a damaged ankle joint using an artificial implant.