Arthritis affects an estimated 54 million adults in the United States every year. This condition can make it difficult to move the joints in your ankles and feet without pain. At Independence Foot and Ankle Associates, LLC in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Feasterville, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania, the skilled podiatrists offer several effective solutions for treating arthritis pain and restoring your quality of life. To learn more about arthritis treatments, call the office and schedule an appointment or use the online booking feature.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a medical condition characterized by the inflammation of the joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis affecting various areas of the body. In your ankles and feet, the most common types of arthritis are:
Wear and tear to the cartilage in your feet and ankles causes osteoarthritis. When cartilage wears down, bones can grind on each other and lead to pain and restricted movement. Wear and tear can happen over time, or it may come from an injury.
Your body’s immune system can attack the lining of your joints, causing inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can progress and eventually destroy the bone and cartilage of the joint, causing debilitating pain and swelling.
What are the risk factors for arthritis?
You may develop arthritis over time as you age or through repeated use of your ankle and foot joints. You may also be at increased risk of developing it if:
- You have a family history of arthritis
- You have suffered previous ankle injuries
- You are overweight
Women are also more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men.
How is arthritis diagnosed?
Your doctor performs a physical examination to evaluate your pain levels and note physical symptoms, including redness, swelling, and warmth. He may also conduct flexibility tests to determine limitations in your range of motion.
Laboratory testing may also help your doctor determine the type of arthritis you have. Your doctor may request samples of blood, joint fluid, or urine to confirm a diagnosis.
Imaging tests may also assist your doctor in determining arthritis and other conditions affecting your joints. These tests may include:
- CT scans
What is the treatment for arthritis?
Your doctor develops a comprehensive treatment plan with a goal of relieving the pain and discomfort from arthritis in your feet and ankles.
Depending on the severity and type of arthritis you have, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- Prescription pain relievers
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
If these treatments don’t relieve pain effectively, your doctor may suggest surgical procedures to increase mobility and alleviate pain. Surgical treatments may include:
- Joint repair
- Joint fusion
- Joint replacement