Foot Arthritis Treatment in Shreveport, LA
Arthritis is a painful disease of the joints that affects more than 50 million adults worldwide. There are more than 100 different variations of arthritis, but most can be grouped into larger categories.
All types of arthritis have the potential to cause inflammation of the foot and ankle joints, which often leads to inflammation and painful stiffness that can impair the person’s ability to walk. Dr. Morreale is a podiatrist who specializes in treating many different conditions of the foot, including various types of arthritis. To speak with Dr. Morreale about your foot pain or worsening arthritis, please call (318) 797-3668 today to request a consultation.
The 4 Main Types of Arthritis
The specific type of arthritis is defined based on the areas of the body affected by arthritis, prior injury of the joint, cause of the arthritis, and the age of the patient. These factors make up four common types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
This first form of arthritis is the most common. Osteoarthritis can be found in any area of the body, but is most often located in the knees, hips, low back, or neck.
Osteoarthritis is degenerative, meaning that it occurs from natural wear and tear of the joint’s cartilage over time. As a person ages, the cartilage between their joints begins to wear down. After much of this cartilage is gone, the small bones within the foot begin to rub directly against another, often resulting in very intense pain.
Post-Traumatic arthritis is a more specific form of osteoarthritis.
This type of arthritis is caused by the same degeneration of cartilage seen in patient’s with osteoarthritis. However, this wear and tear is worsened by a particular injury to the joint. An example would be foot arthritis following a tear of the Achilles tendon or the plantar fascia.
Rheumatoid arthritis differs from osteoarthritis because rather than being solely located in one particular joint, rheumatoid arthritis can also be present throughout the rest of the body. Most patients will find that if rheumatoid arthritis exists in a joint on one side of their body, it will also exist in the same joint on the other side of their body, which means that it will often be present in both feet or ankles.
As of now, there is no real explanation for the cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Many experts point to the proven relationship between autoimmune diseases and inflammation of the joints. It is unclear what exactly propels the immune system to go awry, but evidence suggests that genes, hormones, and environmental factors may play a crucial role.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
This particular form of arthritis is very similar to rheumatoid arthritis with the major difference being that juvenile idiopathic arthritis is found in children rather than adults.
Like rheumatoid arthritis, little is known about the exact cause of juvenile idiopathic arthritis except that it is believed to be linked to an autoimmune or autoinflammatory disease.
Symptoms of Foot Arthritis
Patients usually report the following symptoms of arthritis:
- Soreness/stiffness of the affected foot or ankle
- Limited range of mobility
- Accumulation of fluid around the joint
- Clicking or cracking during movement
- A grating or scraping sensation
- Pain that worsens during or after daily activities such as walking
- Fever and rash (this symptom is specific to juvenile idiopathic arthritis)
Mild Arthritis Treatment Options
For individuals who have just started to experience symptoms of arthritis in their foot or ankle, over-the-counter pain relievers and joint supplements should be able to significantly reduce their pain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle complete with proper diet and exercise are also key components in the ongoing treatment of a patient’s arthritis.
Treatment for More Severe Foot Arthritis
If any of the above symptoms are drastically altering your lifestyle or causing severe pain, then you will likely require some form of surgery whether it be the removal of inflamed tissues, or a fusion of the bones within the foot (arthrodesis). In cases where the damage to the ankle joint is quite severe, Dr. Morreale may recommend a total ankle replacement, which is similar to other common joint replacement procedures such as a knee or hip replacement.