Osteoarthritis Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Affecting mostly middle-aged and older adults, osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle is a long-term, degenerative joint disease that can cause significant pain, swelling and mobility issues. As with many kinds of arthritis, your joints wear down over time and lose the smooth “cushioning” cartilage that prevents your bones from rubbing against each other. Eventually, the joint can wear to the point that it no longer works or moves as it should.
The primary cause of osteoarthritis is age. As you get older, your risk increases from the general wear and tear of everyday movement.
Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis include:
- Tenderness when touched
- Pain during movement
- Trouble walking or bearing weight
- Joint stiffness, warmth or swelling
- Increased pain and swelling after rest
Osteoarthritis is typically diagnosed through a physical exam, x-ray, and if necessary, MRI or CT scan.
Depending on your symptoms, there are a number of medical treatments and home remedies available to provide comfort and alleviate pain, including:
- Steroid medication injections
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Pain relievers
- Pads or arch supports
- Canes or braces
- Shoe inserts/orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Custom-fitted shoes
- Fusion or joint replacement surgery