When you think or arthritis, you may not think of your feet and ankles. However, as there are 28 bones in your foot and over 30 joints in your foot, making your feet and ankles a susceptible part of your body to develop arthritis. Our feet support us in nearly everything that we do, so it’s no surprise that wear and tear occurs.
Types of Arthritis
There are three main types of arthritis that occur in the feet and ankles:
- Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis is known as “wear and tear” arthritis and it mainly impacts people who are middle-aged. This form of arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away over time. This causes the cartilage to become frayed and worn-down, minimizing the space between your joints. As bone rubs on bone, it can cause pain in addition to bone spurs.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): This chronic disease may affect multiple joints throughout your body, including in your feet and ankles. This is a symmetrical disease, meaning it typically affects the same joint on both sides of the body. The immune cells attack the joint cover (called synovium) and causes it to swell. Research shows that RA is not inherited, rather, some people have genes that make them more susceptible to developing RA.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: This form of arthritis may develop after an injury to the foot or ankle occurs, such as a discoloration or a fracture. Post-traumatic arthritis causes the cartilage between the joints to wear down, and this injury may develop years after the initial injury occurs.
Being aware of the symptoms of arthritis is important in diagnosing the problem as soon as possible. Symptoms include pain with motion, tenderness upon pressure, increased pain after periods of rest, difficulty walking, etc.
If you believe that you are suffering from arthritis, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today.