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A Complete Guide About Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful and debilitating situation that interferes with the overall quality of life. Significantly, if it affects your foot and ankle, you won’t enjoy an active lifestyle or perform daily activities due to pain and discomfort. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness in any joint and is quite common in the small joints of the foot and ankle. 

However, there is no perfect cure for arthritis, but there are specific treatments options available that help slow the progress of the disease and relieve its symptoms. With the perfect guidance of foot and ankle doctor in Delhi, many people can manage their pain and lead a fulfilling and active life. In this guide, we detail foot and ankle arthritis and its treatment options. 

What is Foot and Ankle Arthritis?

It is a general term for localizing joint inflammation. Any arthritis includes inflammation in and near the joints that leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness. When soft cushioning cartilage in the joint starts losing, the bones will wear down against each other. However, arthritis occurs from this progressive joint deterioration. Sometimes, past injuries like ankle fractures cause foot and ankle arthritis because the damaged cartilage can lead to accelerated inflammation. 

In each foot, there are 28 bones, and more than 30 joints are available. It means the foot and ankle arthritis may feel acute, although the ankle is affected less often than other joints. However, there are very few common foot and ankle joints prone to arthritis development, including where the shinbone and ankle meet, the joint of the foot bone and big toe, and three joints of the foot, which include the heel bone, the inner mid–foot bone, and the outer mid–foot bone. 

Causes of Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Usually, foot and ankle arthritis is caused by normal wear and tear of joints. When the cartilage wears down and things out, the bones start rubbing together, which leads to joint pain and inflammation. Other causes of arthritis of the foot and ankle are:

  • Fracture
  • Flat feet or high arches that leads to abnormal foot mechanics.
  • Serious pain
  • Injuries linked with forcefully kicking or dropping heavy items on ankle and foot joint
  • Bacterial or any viral infection that is left untreated and allowed to spread in joints quickly. 

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Symptoms of Foot and Ankle Arthritis

The symptoms of ankle and foot arthritis depend on the conditions and joints which is affected. The symptoms are:

  • Swelling in joints due to warmth and redness
  • Facing issues while walking and moving
  • Pain occurs during motion or activity
  • Stiffness, pain, and swelling after resting or sitting
  • Tenderness in the joint area

Treatment of Foot and Ankle Arthritis

There is no complete cure for arthritis, but the foot and ankle doctor in Delhi helps in treating it, which may relieve the pain and disability. 

  1. Non – Surgical and Medicines

Shoe modifications can help relieve pain and stiffness in mild ankle and foot arthritis. Cushioned inserts and “rocker bottoms” can support the ankle joint. A brace can hold the ankle joint in place and prevent excessive movement in the affected area. These braces, also known as ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs), are available in most pharmacies. Some people with foot or ankle arthritis can benefit from anti-inflammatory medication and these modifications. Cortisone injections are also beneficial for managing this type of arthritis. This is especially true if you have acute pain or flare-ups.

  1. Surgical 

The following surgical options are available for treating foot and ankle arthritis:

  • Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is very effective if arthritis is in its early stages. During the procedure, your doctor will insert an instrument to clean the joint. The arthroscopic procedure will remove foreign tissue, such as a bone spur in your joint.

  • Fusion Surgery

During fusion, your bones are fused with rods, plates, screws, or pins. Even after the recovery, the bones will still be fused.

  • Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery involves replacing your damaged joint with an artificial implant. Joint replacement surgery is a major operation and will only take place in severe cases.

Conclusion

If the symptoms like pain, swelling, and others associated with the foot and ankle worsen and create hindrances in daily activities, then consultation with a foot and ankle doctor in Delhi will be best. Early intervention will help minimize the progression of the disease. After a complete diagnosis, you must follow the doctor’s instructions carefully for a speedy recovery. 

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