As you get older, your risk for developing arthritis in your feet or ankles increases, especially if you have a history of a joint injury. To ease chronic pain and improve mobility, the Gateway Foot and Ankle Center team offers customized treatment plans for many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and gout. Using onsite diagnostic technologies, the podiatrists can assess the severity of your arthritis and create a long-term treatment plan to meet your needs. Call the office in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, or in Nashville, Clarksville, or Erin, Tennessee, to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online today.
Arthritis is a chronic joint disease that causes stiffness and pain. While there are over 100 types of arthritis, the three most common that affect the feet and ankle joints are:
Osteoarthritis is a “wear-and-tear” disease that occurs when the cartilage surrounding your joint breaks down and wears away. The loss of protective cartilage allows bones to rub together, creating friction, inflammation, and pain.
If left untreated, this type of arthritis can also cause a joint deformity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to mistakenly attack otherwise healthy joint tissue. The attack breaks down the lining of the joint and leads to chronic pain and inflammation.
Gout occurs when uric acid levels in the body become too high and form crystals that stab your joint. Typically, gout most often affects the joint of your big toe and can cause intense pain during flare-ups.
Some types of arthritis can cause deformities in your foot and ankle joints if left untreated. For this reason, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Gateway Foot and Ankle Center if you have persistent symptoms of arthritis such as:
You should also make an appointment if you experience walking problems due to arthritis pain and inflammation.
During your evaluation for arthritis, the podiatry team reviews your personal and family medical histories and physically examines the joints in your feet and ankles. They can also request blood work to check your uric acid levels or X-rays to identify joint damage.
Based on your test results, the team creates a treatment plan to manage your condition and prevent arthritis symptoms from worsening.
Initially, your treatment plan for arthritis may involve medications to relieve pain and inflammation or to lower your uric acid levels. If oral medications aren’t effective at controlling your symptoms, you may benefit from steroid injections that go directly into your joint.
Physical therapy can relieve the stiffness and pain of some types of arthritis. The team can refer you to a therapist to learn exercises that strengthen the muscles that support your joints.
For those with advanced arthritis who have severe pain or joint deformities, the Gateway Foot and Ankle Center team offers surgery services. The surgeons can repair or replace damaged joints to restore your range of motion and improve your mobility.
Don’t let arthritis slow you down. Schedule a diagnostic evaluation online or call the Gateway Foot and Ankle Center office nearest you today.