Arthritis in your feet can be debilitating without treatment from a podiatrist. We see many patients come in with foot pain, and often they have some form of arthritis, sometimes accompanying other issues as well.
From the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
"Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. It can cause pain and stiffness in any joint in the body, and is common in the small joints of the foot and ankle.
There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, many of which affect the foot and ankle. All types can make it difficult to walk and perform activities you enjoy.
Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options available to slow the progress of the disease and relieve symptoms. With proper treatment, many people with arthritis are able to manage their pain, remain active, and lead fulfilling lives."
There are several forms of arthritis to be aware of:
1.) Osteoarthritis: progressive degenerative arthritis from "wear and tear", usually associated with the aging process. Cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone, and causes intense pain.
2.) Autoimmune/Rheumatoid Arthritis: autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the cartilage, causing intense swelling and pain. Usually appears symetrically, affecting both sides of the body at the same time- unlike osteoarthritis, which can affect just one area in some individuals.
3.) Posttraumatic Arthritis: happens after injury, particularly dislocations or fractures. Usually takes years after injury to manifest as arthritis.
4.) Gouty Arthritis: often simply called 'gout', this type of arthritis is caused by a buildup or uric acid in the blood, and normally presents as swelling and pain in the big toe, progressing to other joints.
FOOT ARTHRITIS TREATMENTS
As with most conditions, treatment depends on severity of the condition and the form of arthritis we're dealing with. Simple lifestyle modifications often help immensely with osteoarthritis, such as switching from high impact activity (running) to low impact (walking), losing weight, and participating in physical therapy. Medications are frequently prescribed for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or gout; as you podiatrist, we make sure that we work in conjunction with your primary care physcian, rheumatologist, or other specialist to ensure that your treatment plan aligns across all physician treatment. Braces, orthotics and assistive devices are also heavily used in cases of arthritis to stabilize the foot and ankle to prevent further aggravation of the inflammed area.
At our office, we also have an MLS laser that works WONDERS for our patients- you can view their testimonials on our arthritis laser treatment page.
For severe cases, sometimes surgery is an option. Arthoscopic debridement (cleaning out damaged tissue in the joint), fusion of bones, and total ankle replacement are all options that might be offered if they make sense in your case. As always, a skilled podiatrist and foot surgeon will review all aspects of your situation to propose the best possible solution.
If you're suffering with foot pain, don't wait- contact us today! We're proud to serve Southfield and the surrounding communities as their preferred podiatrist & foot surgeon.