Arthritis of the Foot or Ankle
Arthritis of the foot is a pathology causing inflammatory changes in the osteoarticular apparatus of the foot. This body part performs a number of important functions that provide an upright position of the body. If the foot has certain malfunctions as a result of trauma or disease, then it can lead to the development of malfunctions of the intervertebral, hip, ankle and knee joints. Based on the results of the diagnostics, treatment of arthritis of the foot is determined by specialists in the field of traumatology and orthopedics. And with proper therapy and following the doctor’s recommendations, it is possible to restore the former quality of life.
About arthritis of the Foot
How to Understand that You Have Arthritis of the Foot or Ankle (Symptoms)
Arthritis of various localization and etiology has a number of similar clinical signs: pain, changes in the appearance of the joint, dysfunction. However, each kind of the malfunction has its specific features. In case of the ankle arthritis, pain in the foot is usually persistent, aggravated by walking or standing for a long time, and subsides to some extent after rest. The soft tissues of the ankle are swollen, the skin is hyperemic and hot to the touch. Dysfunction is manifested in the limited mobility of the foot and the decreased range of motion. Loss of normal foot mobility can be caused by both intense ankle pain and the arthrosis of the foot. Movements in the ankle are frequently accompanied by a characteristic crunch or clicks.
Causes of the Foot and Ankle Arthritis
Firstly, the doctors for the treatment of foot arthritis often connect it with some previous injuries. In some cases, arthritis of the ankle develops as a result of chronic trauma to the joints.
Infectious foot arthritis can also be associated with previous viral, microbial, fungal or parasitic infections. The specialists of the medical clinic Touch of Health often identify influenza, chronic tonsillitis, pneumonia, intestinal infection, gonorrhea and the like as the preceding conditions of ankle arthritis.
The other factors that provoke the pathological changes in the foot joints are old age, overweight, general and local hyperthermia, smoking, immunodeficiency, diabetes, etc.
There are several types of foot and ankle arthritis, including:
Osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs when cartilage –– a soft, cushion-like substance that pads your joints –– breaks down and wears away. This causes your bones to rub up against one another, resulting in stiffness and discomfort.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack the lining of your joints (synovium). As the synovium becomes swollen and irritated, it damages the bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments in your feet and ankles. Over time, this can result in a deformity or disability.
If you experience a foot and ankle fracture or dislocate your ankle, you might develop post-traumatic arthritis. Like osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis causes your cartilage to wear away. Research shows that injured joints are about seven times more likely to become arthritic compared to healthy joints.
Treatment of Foot or Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis treatment consists of a complex of restorative and rehabilitation measures; if necessary, an operation by the foot surgeons. In all cases, it is essential to limit the load on foot in order to prevent the chronic trauma. In the acute period of this disorder, immobilization of the foot with a plaster cast may be indicated. Patients with gout frequently follow a special diet in their treatment plan as well.
When the infectious nature of the disorder is established, antibiotics are prescribed. During the recovery period, there is a wide range of methods to be applied such as foot massage, physiotherapy exercises and chondroprotectors. Furthermore, the patient is recommended the constant use of instep supports and other orthopedic applications for a successful treatment.
Is Surgical Treatment Required?
Surgical operation is an extreme measure that is suitable if the therapeutical foot arthritis treatment has not worked. If the foot arthritis leads to severe structural changes in the foot, endoprosthetics or arthroscopy is required. In case of a persistent deformity, Touch of Health, the medical center near you, provides such treatment service as resection of hammer toes. Our foot surgeons are highly qualified and use the latest techniques to treat any disorder or malfunction.