Bone Health
 Bone Health > Diseases and Symptoms > Arthritis > Arthritis in Feet Can Be Debilitating Problem
Arthritis in Feet Can Be Debilitating Problem
9/23 15:21:59

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and while it can be a painful experience for those affected, there are treatments that can make living with arthritis more bearable. With the large number of bones and joints, arthritis in feet and ankles is a common problem for many individuals, whether caused by disease, the natural aging process or trauma, arthritis in feet can be a debilitating problem.

The most form of arthritis in feet is osteoarthritis, the result of degeneration of the cartilage in the joints. Although rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the joints, osteoarthritis is more widely known to cause the problem. The symptoms of osteoarthritis in the feet may vary among the patients, but the most common are pain in specific joints, stiffness, reduced motion and swelling. Walking will usually be difficult for persons with arthritis in feet joints.

While arthritis in feet can affect many of the joints, most commonly it hits the ankle bone, where the shinbone rests on the top of the talus, the upper bone of the foot. There are also three joints in the heel that can be affected by arthritis, as well as the metatarsal bones in the bottom of the foot, which are connected to the toe bones.

Correct Diagnosis Required For Treatment

Diagnosing arthritis in feet can be a challenge for doctors, but medical histories and observing the patient's ability to walk, and how their stride is affected may lead to the need for a bone scan, or MRI to measure the space between the bones. An accurate diagnosis will help effect any treatment procedures for the individual patient.

There are numerous non-surgical treatments for arthritis in feet including pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling. Shoe inserts and custom made shoes can also help relieve some of the walking pain and if the patient is overweight, weight loss may be recommended to take some of the stress off the affected foot joints.

Steroidal medication is sometimes injected into the joints along with physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints affected by arthritis in feet. The patient may need to use a cane or a brace on their foot to help keep the joint straight while walking. A few patients with arthritis in feet that are not helped by these types of treatments may need to seek surgical intervention for relief of the pain associated with the ailment.

Copyright © Bone Health All Rights Reserved