As you get older, your risk for arthritis increases, especially in the small bones of the foot and ankle. The experienced podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Premier Specialists, with offices in Bloomfield and Hoboken, New Jersey, understand how painful foot and ankle arthritis can be. Juliana Paternina, DPM, and Caroline Frugé, DPM, customize treatment plans to prevent chronic pain and disability. If you’re struggling with arthritis, don’t delay an evaluation. You can book an appointment now using the online booking feature or by calling the office nearest you.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints, including those in your foot and ankle. While there are over 100 different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two types for which people most commonly seek medical attention.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that causes wear and tear on the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones that form your joints. As this cartilage wears away, the bones rub together, causing stiffness and pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes your body to mistakenly attack healthy tissue that covers your joints, causing swelling. If left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint deformities that result in disability.
In the early stages of arthritis, you may not have any symptoms. As the condition worsens, you may find it difficult to move or walk because of stiffness and pain in your feet or ankles. Other common symptoms of arthritis include:
Increasing pain can limit your activities, and if your joints become deformed, you may no longer be able to put pressure on them.
Diagnosing arthritis starts with a review of your personal and family medical history. Your Foot & Ankle Premier Specialists team also performs a physical exam of your affected joints, checking for areas of tenderness and swelling.
To confirm an arthritis diagnosis, your podiatrist may request X-rays or other imaging tests of your foot or ankle. These tests can also rule out other underlying medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Initially, your podiatrist may recommend treatments, like physical therapy. These exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your joints and alleviate persistent pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can also keep you comfortable.
When these treatments aren’t enough to address your pain or disability, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Arthroscopic techniques can be useful for removing extra tissue or bone spurs that form around your joint.
In serious cases of arthritis, especially when there’s a deformity in the joint, your podiatrist may recommend joint replacement surgery. This procedure replaces your damaged joint with an artificial one that functions just like your natural joint.
If you’re struggling with chronic pain in the foot or ankle due to arthritis, schedule a consultation at Foot & Ankle Premier Specialists online or by calling the office nearest you.