Feet have over thirty different joints, which makes them more prone to developing arthritis. There are multiple ways to diagnose arthritis in the feet. Treatments like stretching and orthopedic shoes may provide relief.
Arthritis of the Feet and Main Trigger Points
Each foot has28 bones and more than 30 joints; therefore, arthritis of the foot is widespread. The most common joints affected by arthritis are the joint from the shinbone to the ankle; three joints involving the heel bone, inner-foot bone, and outer mid-foot bone; and the joint of the big toe and foot bone.
There are multiple types of arthritis in the feet that affect all different joints, including the ankles and toes.
- Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), which connects your big toe to your foot, although it's also often found in the mid-foot and ankle.
- Rheumatoid arthritis usually appears in both feet and affects the same joints in each foot.
- Gout frequently affects only the feet, often the big toe.
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is also in the toes, causing swelling and inflammation of the entheses, the place where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can also present itself as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to the toes.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that causes pain in the Achilles tendon.
- Post-traumatic arthritis can happen after an injury, especially a dislocation or bone break. Post-traumatic arthritis may take a while to develop after the injury.
Five Common Signs You Have Arthritis in Your Feet
- Tenderness: Arthritis can present itself as tenderness when you touch the joint.
- Pain: A common sign of arthritis of the foot is pain around the ankle and arch. The pain is a general ache when sitting or moving.
- Issues with Walking: You may have issues moving your foot, walking, or standing.
- Stiffness: Another symptom of arthritis of the foot is joint stiffness, swelling, or heat at the joint.
- More Pain: People may experience more pain after resting, sleeping, or sitting.
Diagnosis of Arthritis in Your Feet
A doctor can diagnose arthritis through a couple of methods. First is a physical exam, then the doctor may order X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan. These imaging techniques allow the doctor to better look at the ligaments and bones in the feet. Another test your doctor may perform is a gait analysis to measure your stride and walk.
Treatment for Arthritis in Your Feet
There is no cure for arthritis; however, many treatments can aid in pain relief. Most treatments for arthritis of the foot are minimally invasive. The treatments include sculpted insoles or custom-made shoes, anti-inflammatory drugs for swelling or pain relievers, canes or walkers, and in some cases, surgery.
Surgery could include fusion surgery, where the bones are fused with pins and rods. In the most severe cases, joint replacement or arthroplasty is necessary. Joint replacement surgery removes damaged bone and cartilage and replaces them with plastic or metal.
How to Get Help
Arthritis of the foot can be painful and impact your daily life. If you feel like you may be experiencing arthritis of the foot, reach out to a licensed physician. They can perform tests and then discuss the best route of treatment.
For more information and to schedule an appointment, call or visit Diablo Foot and Ankle.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.
Where are your Podiatry clinics located?
At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.