Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Fort Worth and Weatherford, TX

Here's How Arthritis Affects Your Feet and Ankles

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Here's How Arthritis Affects Your Feet and Ankles

There are a lot of joints in your feet, and any of them can be affected by a variety of forms of arthritis. These illnesses can make walking, running and other basic functions more difficult, and here’s how we can help.

One of the most used parts of your body is your feet, which has to function properly when you do most anything sitting, standing up, or performing most basic motions with your lower body. These pedal extremities work through the use of 26 bones, hundreds of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and 33 joints. And since we use them constantly, there are a number of conditions that can cause problems, like arthritis.

Many of the forms of arthritis can affect the wide ranges and types of motion your feet perform on a daily basis, resulting in problems like inflammation, discomfort, tenderness, and swelling. To better understand how arthritis affects feet let’s examine the illness itself, what it does to the joints in your feet, and what we can do to alleviate symptoms.

Residents of the Fort Worth and Wetherford, Texas area looking for relief from foot and ankle arthritis can find help from the team of Drs. Gary Driver, Glen Beede, Gregory Jaryga, and their dedicated staff at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists.

How arthritis affects joints

All forms of arthritis are conditions that affect the bones, cartilage, and other musculoskeletal tissue found in the various types of joints in your body, causing inflammation and worse over time. The causes of different types of arthritis vary, but the common symptoms between them are decreased range of motion, swelling, pain, redness, and stiffness. 

Risk factors of arthritis include family history, obesity, a history of joint injuries, sex (women are more likely to deal with rheumatoid arthritis, while more men deal with gout), and age (older people are at greater risk of osteoarthritis).

What that means for your feet and ankles

Feet and ankles are responsible for balance, support, shock absorption and many other things when we stand, walk, run, and do most things with our lower body. They are essential to motion, and many of the 33 joints in this area have an articular cartilage that helps them operate smoothly while moving. Your foot and ankle joints are also surrounded by synovium, a thin lining that lubricates cartilage and reduces friction from movements.

Different forms of arthritis damage your feet and ankles in various ways. Osteoarthritis, for example, wears away at the cartilage in your feet, removing the cushion between bones and joints and leading to problems with pain, stiffness, and balance. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand strikes several parts of the body simultaneously, and is likely to affect both joints at once, attacking the synovium that helps with friction in your joints. Dislocations, breaks and other problems in feet and ankles can also lead to posttraumatic arthritis. Any of these can result in pain, swelling, warmth, redness, stiffness and difficulty walking.

How we can help

To help with these and other issues from arthritis, we can offer various solutions, including conservative and surgical methods. Bracing, custom orthotics, physical therapy, stretching exercises, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), icing and injection therapy can help to relieve symptoms without surgical intervention.

If your problems are severe enough, however, advanced surgery for the big toe, midfoot, rearfoot, and ankle joints are available, along with cheilectomy, exostectomy, and complete joint replacement.

Arthritis can be frustrating in your ankles and feet, but it can be managed, and we are here to help. Make an appointment with Drs. Driver, Beede, Jaryga, and the team at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists today to find a solution for your foot pain due to arthritis.