Arthritis – Foot Care Treatments

Is joint pain and stiffness limiting your motion and keeping you from staying active?

Arthritis can cause severe pain in the joints of your feet. It’s a common disability for many American adults. Although arthritis is a degenerative disease, you can manage symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle free of discomfort with advanced arthritis treatments at the Foot, Ankle and Leg Vein Center in Boca Raton.

Understanding Arthritis?

Arthritis
Medical massage at the foot in a physiotherapy center. Female physiotherapist inspecting her patient.

Arthritis can be the result of trauma or high mechanical stress to a joint. Over time, the joint space will become narrowed and cartilage that covers a joint surface will be stripped. Spurs or bone fragments can occur around the joint as well, which can lead to pain and often a hot and swollen joint.

The word arthritis literally means “pain within the joint”. Though the symptoms of the condition vary widely, you may be suffering from foot arthritis if you experience:

  • Swelling
  • Limited motion
  • Tenderness, pain, or stiffness
  • Walking difficulties due to other symptoms above

A few different forms of arthritis can affect the foot, each with different risk factors and causes.

  • Osteoarthritis refers to the gradual wearing down of the cartilage in the joints. The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases with age because our cartilage becomes less able to repair itself as we get older, making it a common problem during and after middle age. Contributing factors to osteoarthritis also include family history and obesity.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis can occur after a sprain, fracture, dislocation, or other injuries. Even with proper treatment, joints are at a higher risk of arthritis after injury and can sometimes develop the condition years after the trauma.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which an individual’s immune system seeks out and destroys cartilage. Instead of affecting specific joints, rheumatoid arthritis tends to be a whole-body problem. Though the cause is not known, certain genetic factors may increase your risk while environmental factors can trigger the issue.

Diagnosis

Dr Jodi Schoenhaus Podiatrist and Vein specialistTo determine the source of your arthritis and find an effective form of treatment, Dr. Schoenhaus and Dr. Gold will perform an in-depth analysis of your medical history and the nature of your discomfort. They will ask when and where the pain occurs, as well as any recent injuries and lifestyle factors like footwear and medication use. Dr. Schoenhaus and Dr. Gold may also use diagnostic procedures like gait analysis, X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to evaluate your arthritis.

Treatment

Treatment options will vary based on the severity of your symptoms and the form of your arthritis.

Surgical care for foot arthritis includes:

  • Joint arthroscopy. A specialized surgical scope is used to view your joint closely and repair the problem with minimally invasive methods.
  • Joint cheilectomy. A bony, pain-causing lump is removed from the big toe to improve mobility and reduce symptoms.
  • Joint replacement. The problem joint is replaced to maintain motion and eliminate pain.
  • Joint fusion. The two bones on either side of a joint are fused together, entirely removing the joint. This is typically used for the end stage.

If you suffer from foot arthritis, Dr. Schoenhaus and Dr. Gold can help you find the most effective treatment for your condition. Contact our office to set up a consultation today.