Arthritis in the feet and ankles is a chronic, aggravating problem for many, especially those who have arrived at middle age or later in life. Whether due to decades of ordinary wear and tear, an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or a combination of factors, joints in the feet and ankles (which collectively contain more than a quarter of the bones in your entire body) are a common target for pain.
Although there is no “cure” for most types of arthritis, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to deal with the discomfort. On the contrary, successful management of arthritis symptoms is often possible and can help keep you healthy, active, and independent in later life.
Conservative treatment options will be employed first, before any talk of surgery. In addition to occasional use of OTC anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen) or cortisone shots to temporarily manage symptoms, other tools or assistive devices such as cushioned shoe inserts, custom orthotics, or special shoes can help lessen the painful impacts on joints by redistributing the weight across your foot.
You may also find that lifestyle modifications bring improvement. We want you to stay active, but you may consider replacing some high-impact exercises (like running, tennis, or basketball) with some low-impact exercises (like walking, cycling, swimming, or weight training) in your routine. Doing so can help you maintain your fitness without putting all that extra pounding on your aching feet. Additionally, we may recommend a physical therapy program featuring stretches and other exercises designed to help you strengthen supporting muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion—however, doing the wrong stretches may make the problem worse, so it’s important to follow our instructions carefully.
Ultimately, if symptoms remain significant despite these measures, we may recommend a surgical procedure. This may include cleaning or removing spurs, bone chips, or inflamed tissue; joint fusion; joint replacement, or other techniques, depending on your specific condition.Don’t let your arthritis symptoms control you or keep you from the things that you love. If joint pain in your feet or ankles is bothering you, call Family Foot and Ankle Center today at 888-689-3317 to set up an appointment at one of our six Greater Cincinnati offices. You can also request an appointment online