Arthritis of the Foot
Arthritis refers to joint inflammation and soft tissue swelling and may include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis, all of which can affect the foot.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, affects many people when they reach middle age. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling and joint pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis, referred to as RA, may result in an individual’s immune system attacking and destroying cartilage in the foot. RA may eventually cause joints to shift out of place.
Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury to the foot or ankle. Pain and inflammation may develop many years after the injury.
To diagnose arthritis in the foot, the foot and ankle team at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will evaluate your medical history and ask about previous foot injuries. X-rays and imaging scans will help the physician determine if there have been changes to the joint.
Conservative treatment options include bracing and orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections into the joint. In cases of severe arthritis of the foot, surgical intervention may become necessary in order to relieve pain and restore optimal function of the foot. In cases of severe RA, fusion or ankle replacement surgery may help resolve a majority of the ankle deformity and eliminate pain.