If you are beginning to feel unexplained pain and stiffness in your feet and ankles, you might have arthritis of the foot and ankle. While it might seem like a minor nuisance for now, the pain could become much worse if left untreated and limit your mobility and quality of life in the future. For active adults or athletes, previous ankle injuries can lead to the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis.
Diagnosing Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Arthritis of the foot and ankle treatments focus on dealing with the pain and any joint deformities. When arthritis is suspected, your doctor will request a complete medical history and physical examination. He or she will order diagnostic testing, such as bloodwork, X-ray. MRI or CT to evaluate your foot and ankle for arthritis and its type.
Treating arthritis of the foot and ankle often begins on a conservative note. Your orthopedic surgeon may start you on a regimen of non-surgical treatments, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Steroidal injections
- Lifestyle changes, like losing weight
- Physical therapy to strengthen surrounding ligaments and muscles, in addition to improving range of motion
- Orthotics for your shoes
- Custom-made braces for ankle support
Depending on the type of arthritis, your orthopedic surgeon may also refer you to a rheumatologist, especially if the arthritis is caused by rheumatoid, psoriatic or other arthritis.
When conservative treatment options do not provide relief, surgery may be required. Surgery to repair the damage of arthritis of the foot and ankle may include cleaning and smoothing the bones in the joint to eliminate the pain of moving your ankle or replacing your ankle with an artificial joint.
After ankle surgery, your ankle and foot may be placed in a cast or you may be required to wear a brace or special shoes while you heel. Physical therapy is also often indicated to maintain flexibility and range of motion.
There is no need to put up with the pain of foot and ankle arthritis any longer. Dr. Allison Wade is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specialty trained in Foot & Ankle injuries. She holds the distinction of being the ONLY Foot & Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeon in Brevard County.
Dr. Wade will be happy to see patients for ankle sprains, achilles tendonitis, heel pain, arthritis, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, bunions, hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, as well as other foot and ankle abnormalities.
Treatment is just a phone call away when you schedule an evaluation with 3D Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. Call (321) 610-8939 today!