Osteoarthritis Of The Foot

Arthritis manifests itself in over 100 different forms affecting as many as 43 million Americans. One such form of Arthritis is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is popularly known as the “œwear and tear”arthritis or bone arthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the degeneration of the cartilage on the ends of the bones causing them to be worn out and resulting in inflammation, swelling and joint pains.

Arthritis can effect any part of the body including knees, spine, hips, hands and feet.

The human foot  is comprised of 28 bones spreading across in 30 joints. Which makes the foot quite vulnerable to the Osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Foot

People with Osteoarthritis commonly suffer from varying degrees of pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty in walking, depending on the severity of their cartilage degeneration. Some people also end up developing a bony protrusion or a bone spur at the joint affected by osteoarthritis. This gets aggravated with blisters and calluses because of the shoe pressure, thus further limiting the joint movement.

Causes of Osteoarthritis of the Foot

The joints wear off causing the cartilage degeneration due to factors like repeated stress, aging, abnormal foot mechanics, flat feet, high arched feet, injuries, trauma, sprains, fracture, jamming of joints etc.

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis of the Foot

Diagnosis of the Foot Osteoarthritis involves detailed examination of the foot. The doctor will pay close attention to the swelling, pain, bone spurs, limited mobility and deformity.

Treatment

of Osteoarthritis of the Foot

Treatment basically comprises of surgical and non-surgical options. Non surgical options include oral administration of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain. Orthotic devices like shoe inserts, foot cushioning that help minimize pain. Steroid injections, physical therapy, bracing and immobilization also help treat Osteoarthritis of the Foot.

In severe cases that do not benefit from non-surgical treatment options, the doctor will suggest Surgery. The surgery would not only help decrease pain and inflammation but also improve foot function and mobility.

Tips on Foot Care Suffering from Osteoarthritis:

Some of the tips for foot care suffering from osteoarthritis are:

  • The first foremost step is to wear the shoes which can fit in properly and are comfortable. So select the shoes which are of the shape of your foot.
  • Select the shoes which have proper support so that they cannot slip-on properly.
  • Make sure that the shoes you purchase are flexible and have a rubber sole to provide proper cushion to the foot.

Exercises to Make Your Feet Strong and Flexible:

Some of the exercises to make your feet strong and flexible are:

Big-Toe Stretch:

The steps of this exercise are:

  • The placement of a thick rubber band must be done around the big toes.
  • Now, try to pull away the big toes from each other, possibly towards the other toes.
  • Maintain the position for 5 seconds and then repeat it 10 times.

Toe Pull:

The steps of this exercise are:

  • The placement of the rubber band must be done around the toes of each foot.
  • Now separate the toes and maintain the position for few seconds and then repeat it for 10 times.

Achilles Stretch:

The steps of this exercise are:

  • Place your palms flat on a wall and try to lean against the wall.
  • Now place one foot back and other in the forward direction.
  • Now try to lean forward in such a way that your heels are on the floor. Make sure that the stretch is felt on the calf and the Achilles tendon.
  • Maintain the position for few seconds and then leave to repeat it for 10 times.

Surgery for Ankle Osteoarthritis:

There are two types of surgical processes which arte followed for treating ankle osteoarthritis. They are:

  • Fusion Surgery:

    This process is also known as Arthrodesis. This process involves the fusion of the bones with the help of rods, screws, pins and plates. After the healing the bones are fused together which cures the fractured bone.

  • Joint Replacement Surgery:

    In this process the replacement of the entire ankle joint takes place with the help of artificial implants. This process is carried out in rare cases only.