Arthritic Foot & Ankle Care
Arthritis of the joints of the foot and ankle can be a very debilitating condition. Since there are 26 bones in each foot (33 joints) and 3 bones that make up your ankle joint, there is a wide variety of arthritic conditions that can affect the feet due to the myriad of moving parts. Symptoms of arthritic foot include the following: pain, stiffness, tenderness, reduced motion, and swelling. These symptoms require ankle care that our office specializes in.
There are three types of arthritic foot conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Post-Traumatic Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, or "wear and tear" arthritis, is a common problem for many after they reach middle age. With time, the smooth cartilage covering the ends of bones becomes worn and frayed, resulting in pain, swelling and inflammation. The progression of Osteoarthritis is slow and left untreated the condition can worsen over time. Risk factors for developing this condition include family history of the disease and obesity. Treatment requires specialized ankle care available at our office.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a system-wide condition and manifests in no particular pattern. This type of arthritic foot is an auto-immune disease where the patient's immune system is responsible for attacking and destroying cartilage. The cause of this type of arthritic foot is not fully understood. Research has led to speculation that there are certain genes which make some people more susceptible to the disease. When these genes are exposed to a "trigger" such as infection or environmental conditions, they may be activated leading to the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Post-Traumatic Arthritis usually manifests after injury to the foot or ankle. Similar to the idea that back pain can begin years after a car accident, this type of arthritic foot condition can occur many years after a ligament injury, severe sprain or fracture. According to research, an injured joint is approximately seven times more likely to become arthritic and require foot & ankle care, even following proper treatment.
Depending on the severity of the arthritic changes and symptoms a wide variety of conservative and surgical treatment options can be utilized. East Ocean Podiatry utilizes digital x-rays in order to enhance and evaluate these joints and present you with the best treatment options for your condition. We also utilize cutting-edge treatments for foot and ankle arthritis consisting of the use of the injections of new product such as Synvisc to resolve the symptoms associated with these debilitating conditions.