Please enable scripts and reload this page. The Initial Evaluation: Ankle arthritis Kind of Shape Are Your Feet In?
The pain and stiffness you feel in your feet and ankles as you grow older could be arthritis. If left untreated, this nagging pain can grow worse, eventually becoming so excruciating that you can no longer walk even short distances. Severe arthritis can restrict your mobility and limit your quality of life, but with proper treatment, you can slow the development of arthritis and lead a more productive life. Arthritis is a broad term for a number of conditions that destroy the workings of a normal joint. Arthritis may occur in your back, neck, hips, knees, shoulders or hands, but it also occurs in your feet and ankles. There are many different types of arthritis. The result is inflammation, redness, swelling and pain in the joint.
Also, a sudden and traumatic injury such as a broken bone, torn ligament or moderate ankle sprain can cause the injured joint to become arthritic in the future. Sometimes a traumatic injury will result in arthritis in the injured joint even though the joint received proper medical care at the time of injury. People with rheumatoid arthritis for at least 10 years almost always develop arthritis in some part of the foot or ankle. Other types of inflammatory arthritis include gout, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. The foot has 26 bones and more than 30 joints. Tough bands of tissue called ligaments hold these together. This smooth motion makes it possible for a person to walk well.
When you get arthritis in the foot, you develop pain and limited motion so that you cannot walk as well. Proper treatment of foot and ankle arthritis addresses both pain and joint deformity. Pain develops when the joint is injured. If left untreated, the foot and ankle may eventually become deformed. X-rays and laboratory tests often can confirm the type and extent of the arthritis. This may mean cleaning the arthritic joint, eliminating the painful motion of the joint, replacing the joint with an artificial joint or a combination of all these.
After surgery, you will require a period of rehabilitation when your foot might have to be in a cast and you might have to wear special shoes or braces for a while. Who Will Care for You? Orthopaedic surgeons, medical doctors who specialize in the nonsurgical and surgical care of foot and ankle problems, can diagnose and treat your arthritis. Community resources also are available to people with arthritis.