Arthritis

Arthritis can happen anywhere in the body. It does not only affect older people, and it can occur for any reason at any time. Many people suffer from foot and ankle arthritis and don’t even know it. It is important to be able to recognize the signs and get the treatment you need so that you can continue to have healthy feet.

What Is Arthritis?

The literal definition is “pain within a joint”. The term can be used to describe a number of joint issues, but there are three main types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. The main joints in the feet and ankle that are affected include the ankle (tibiotalar) joint, midfoot (metatarsocuneiform) joint, great toe (first metatarsophalangeal) joint, and the three joints of the hindfoot (calcaneous, navicular, and cuboid). If you notice pain or tenderness, stiffness, soreness, swelling, or have difficulty walking you might be suffering from this disease and not even realize it. If you have abnormal pain in your feet you should have a podiatrist look at it.

What Kind of Arthritis Is It?

The three kinds of arthritis can be very diverse from each other. They might be caused by different things or make you feel different types of pain. The treatment used to ease your discomfort may also vary. Here are some things to keep in mind about each type:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis-RA is an inflammatory disease. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body attacks itself. In this case it attacks its own cartilage. The cause is not always clear, and it can occur in anyone at any time. It is a genetic problem, so if someone in your family has it your chances become higher.
  • Osteoarthritis-This type is found more frequently in older people. It is the normal, “wear and tear” type, which causes the smooth cartilage to become more frayed. Old age, obesity, and family history all play a part in developing this kind of joint pain.
  • Post-traumatic Arthritis-This type is closer to osteoarthritis, because it occurs as a result of trauma (or wear and tear). However, it can develop in anyone who has sustained a fracture or sprain.

Charcot Foot is a form of arthritis that often develops suddenly and without pain. Without any warning, the bones in the foot and/or ankle spontaneously fracture and fragment, often causing a severe deformity. The arch of the foot often collapses, and pressure areas develop on the bottom of the foot, leading to open sores or ulcers.

The average age of patients developing a Charcot Foot is 40 years. About one-third of patients develop a Charcot Foot in both feet and/or ankles.

Although nonsurgical treatments, such as elevation, icing, casts, and braces, can help alleviate pain and resolve open sores or ulcers, many of these deformities may require surgery to correct the fracture or remove bone fragments. This usually occurs in cases characterized by:

  • Chronic deformity with increased plantar pressures and risk of ulcers.
  • Chronic deformity with significant instability that cannot be corrected by braces.
  • Significant deformity that may include ulcers that do not heal or respond to therapy.

What Are My Treatment Options?

There is no cure for arthritis, but it can be slowed and your pain can be eased. Typically, people are treated with conservative methods. Custom-made orthotics or shoes can be beneficial for helping with pain. Some people might find physical therapy helpful as well because the muscles become stronger. If you find you have trouble walking you might try a cane or a walker. A doctor can prescribe you medication to help with inflammation. If none of these work for you, it might be time to consider surgery. There are different kinds of surgery from debridement to fusion. Your podiatrist can determine which type best suits your unique situation.

Arthritis Surgery

Patients who undergo surgery to correct arthritis in the foot are often diabetics with a type of arthritis known as Charcot Foot. The average age of patients developing a Charcot foot is 40 years. About one-third of patients develop a Charcot foot in both feet and/or ankles. This form of arthritis can develop suddenly and without pain. Quite suddenly, the bones in the foot and/or ankle can spontaneously fracture and fragment, often causing a severe deformity.

The arch of the foot often collapses, and pressure areas develop on the bottom of the foot, leading to open sores or ulcers.

While many of these deformities can be treated with nonsurgical care, surgery may be required. Such instances may include:

  • Chronic deformity with increased plantar pressures and risk of ulcers.
  • Chronic deformity with significant instability that cannot be corrected by braces.
  • Significant deformity that may include ulcers that don't heal or respond to therapy.

Surgical procedures used to treat arthritis include:

  • Hindfoot and ankle realignment. This kind of procedure is usually prescribed when there is significant instability resulting in a patient being unable to walk. Various types of internal fixation are placed within the foot during this kind of procedures.
  • Midfoot realignment. This kind of procedure is usually prescribed when there is significant instability of the middle portion of the foot. During a midfoot realignment, various types of internal fixation are placed within the foot.
  • Ostectomy. In this procedure, a portion of bone is removed from the bottom of the foot. It is usually performed for a wound on the bottom of the foot that is secondary to pressure from a bony prominence.

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Coastal Podiatry

Podiatrists & Podiatric Surgeons located in Mount Pleasant, SC & Moncks Corner, SC

Coastal Podiatry, LLC specializes in foot care and reconstructive surgery. Under the direction of Drs. Rahn and Tamika Ravenell, patients from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina are welcome for the treatment and care for many foot conditions such as ankle sprains, Athlete’s foot, bunions, corns and calluses, diabetic foot problems, plantar fasciitis, and more.

At Coastal Podiatry, LLC, the best care possible is offered for each patient who walks through the door. The doctors and staff work together to ensure a positive experience from checkups to surgeries. They offer the most advanced technology to provide patients with quick and convenient results including a state-of-the-art digital ultrasound machine and digital X-ray onsite that makes diagnostic procedures faster and safer than ever before. The doctors specialize in everything from preventative maintenance to reconstructive foot surgery for all your podiatric needs.

If you are experiencing foot pain of any kind, call or visit Coastal Podiatry, LLC today. Welcoming new patients and accepting most forms of insurance.

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Coastal Podiatry

Coastal Podiatry, LLC specializes in foot care and reconstructive surgery. Under the direction of Drs. Rahn and Tamika Ravenell, patients from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina are welcome for the treatment and care for many foot conditions such as ankle sprains, Athlete’s foot, bunions, corns and calluses, diabetic foot problems, plantar fasciitis, and more.

At Coastal Podiatry, LLC, the best care possible is offered for each patient who walks through the door. The doctors and staff work together to ensure a positive experience from checkups to surgeries. They offer the most advanced technology to provide patients with quick and convenient results including a state-of-the-art digital ultrasound machine and digital X-ray onsite that makes diagnostic procedures faster and safer than ever before. The doctors specialize in everything from preventative maintenance to reconstructive foot surgery for all your podiatric needs.

If you are experiencing foot pain of any kind, call or visit Coastal Podiatry, LLC today. Welcoming new patients and accepting most forms of insurance.


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