What is arthritis of the foot and ankle?
Arthritis of the foot and ankle is a common condition that can cause inflammation and pain in these joints. This condition can make it difficult to perform daily activities and may worsen over time.
- Pain in the foot or ankle
- Stiffness of the joints
- Swelling of the joints
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Warmth in the joints
- Grinding or clicking sound when moving the joint
- Joint deformity or misalignment
- Osteoarthritis (caused by wear and tear on the joint over time)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder)
- Gout (caused by a build up of uric acid crystals in the joint)
- Psoriatic arthritis (a form of arthritis that can develop in people with psoriasis)
- Foot or ankle injuries (such as sprains or fractures) that can lead to arthritis in the affected joint.
Diagnosis of arthritis of the foot and ankle typically involves a physical examination, medical history, and imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans or in some instances MRI. A doctor may also perform blood tests to check for signs of inflammation or infection.
Treatment for arthritis of the foot and ankle depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers. More severe cases may require prescription medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. Physical therapy, assistive devices such as braces or orthotics, and lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise can also help manage symptoms and prevent further damage to the joint. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged joint.