Osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle affects millions of Americans on a daily basis. Our lifestyles have become so overwhelmed with multitasking that there is very little rest that occurs anymore. With increased activity comes the overuse and overworking of the joints of the foot and ankle. Our increased activity coupled with the increased amount of weight that our feet and ankles must bear can cause significant cartilage degradation. As the cartilage wears down, the smooth gliding nature of joints becomes more and more troublesome and painful. Eventually the cartilage will completely wear down causing a bone on bone situation within the joint. When this occurs, even the slightest motion of a joint becomes very painful.
Treating arthritis of the foot and ankle can be very frustrating for patients at times. Often there is a trial and error process to determine which treatments will provide the most significant relief. Your foot and ankle specialist will consider utilizing oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medications, custom-made orthotics, and sometimes even surgical care to replace or fuse the affected joint.