How Arthritis Affects the Feet and Ankles

Arthritis in the feet and/or ankles can cause significant pain and impact mobility. Since the feet and ankles are crucial to many, if not most, everyday activities, arthritis in these joints can reduce your quality of life. 

Here, we’ll discuss how arthritis affects the feet and ankles. Keep in mind that the doctors at Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine specialize in non-surgical and surgical treatments for foot and ankle pain caused by arthritis. If you’re struggling with persistent arthritis pain, we can help you finally achieve relief. 

Understanding Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis refers to conditions that cause inflammation in the joints. With arthritis, the affected joint(s) may wear down over time. As the cartilage that protects the joint degenerates, the bones start rubbing against each other, which leads to pain, inflammation, and reduced joint mobility. The soft tissues in the joint may also become damaged. 

Any joint in the body can be affected by arthritis. In the feet and ankles, arthritis most commonly occurs in the heel bone, inner mid-foot bone, outer mid-foot bone, the joint that connects the big toe to the foot, and the joint that connects the ankle to the shinbone. 

If you have foot and/or ankle arthritis, you may experience pain when you move or put weight on the joint (often while walking). The affected joint may also be tender, stiff, and swollen, with pain that worsens after rest. 

Treatment for Foot and Ankle Arthritis

There are many treatment options for foot and ankle arthritis. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and custom-made orthotics can help relieve pain when the condition is in its early stages. Regenerative treatments including stem cell therapy and PRP can also improve foot and ankle arthritis in many cases. These treatments support the body’s natural healing process to regenerate damaged joint tissue. 

Patients who aren’t responsive to non-surgical treatments may need surgery to relieve symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis. The team at Suncoast Surgery & Sports Medicine includes expert orthopaedic surgeons offering patient-centric care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!