Foot arthritis is considered one of the most common types of arthritis. A foot has twenty eight bones and over thirty joints that are consisted of tough tissue bands called ligaments. If foot arthritis develops in any of the joints, this may affect the way you walk and your body balance. The joints that are usually affected by foot arthritis include the following:
• The ankle
• The hind foot joints
• The mid foot
• The big toe where bunions usually develop
Arthritis has several different types but the most common type is osteoarthritis, which came from the word “osteo” meaning bones. Osteoarthritis in the foot, just like in any part of the body, usually develops as people grow old. This is also referred to as the “wear-and-tear” stage of the joint cartilage. When this happens, the cartilage that connects two bones become thinner causing the bones to rub against each other. This will then result in pain, swelling and inflammation of the joint.
Traumatic foot arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that develops if an injury to a certain joint in your foot has occurred. Even if the injury was properly treated, this may still develop after a few months or years depending on the severity of the injury. This is usually caused by a torn ligament, broken bone or severe sprain.
There are several signs and symptoms of foot arthritis. However, they all vary depending on which foot joint is affected. The most common signs and symptoms include stiffness or reduced mobility of the affected joint, pain, tenderness and swelling. These symptoms all lead to difficulty in walking.
In diagnosing foot arthritis, it is necessary for the doctor to conduct different tests and physical examinations. Also, the doctor will ask for detailed information about your condition. After gathering enough information, the doctor will then perform a walking analysis. By performing this analysis, the doctor will measure your stride and test your foot and ankle strength. You may also undergo diagnostic tests. An X-ray image, CT scan or MRI are some of the typical methods used to help the doctor evaluate your condition.
After evaluating your foot arthritis, the doctor will come up with a treatment that is suited for your condition. There are many forms of treatment available for foot arthritis like non-surgical methods, which include the following:
• Intake of doctor prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs
• Use of ankle and foot support
• Use of foot brace or a cane
• Physical therapy
• Steroid injection
The last treatment option for foot arthritis is surgery due to a lot of factors that needs to be considered. To know more about foot arthritis and the treatment that is appropriate for you, it is best that you consult a specialist immediately.