While the ankle joint is less likely to be affected by arthritis than other joints, when it is, it means that the tibiotalar joint – the joint between the shin bone and ankle bone – is worn out. The most common cause of this condition is a previous injury, such as an ankle fracture. In such cases, something called osteonecrosis can result from ankle injuries, where there is damage to the blood flow to a portion of the bone that can then lead to ankle arthritis. Other causes of ankle arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (which can cause joint inflammation and damage to the cartilage), infections of a joint leading to damage of cartilage cells, being overweight, placing a larger burden of weight on the ankle joint, and possibly genetic factors. The most common symptom of ankle arthritis is joint pain. Other indicators of this condition include stiffness in the ankle, swelling in the joint, bone spurs on the joint, deformity of the joint, and a feeling of instability in the joint. One is less apt to feel tingling and numbness in the feet and toes from ankle arthritis due to irritation of the nerves, but it can happen. Changes in footwear, adding cushioned inserts in shoes, using a brace to help hold the ankle in position, and modification of activity can relieve discomfort associated with ankle arthritis. Sometimes, however, surgery is necessary. If your ankle hurts and you feel you might have ankle arthritis, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and customized treatment.
Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Total Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Arthritic Foot Care
Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.
In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.
Alleviating Arthritic Pain
- Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
- Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
- Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.
It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.