Treatment of Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Proper treatment of foot and ankle arthritis addresses both pain and joint deformity. Pain develops when the joint is injured. Injury to the joint may result from swelling caused by inflammatory arthritis or from the loss of joint surface (cartilage), often caused by trauma. If left untreated, the foot and ankle may eventually become deformed.
To determine if you have arthritis of the foot and ankle, our doctor will ask for your complete medical history and complete physical examination. X-rays and laboratory tests often can confirm the type and extent of the arthritis. Other tests such as a bone scan, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to evaluate your condition.
Once it is confirmed that you have arthritis, a treatment regimen, which may include medications by mouth (Anti-inflammatories), injections (steroids), physical therapy, occupational therapy, or orthotics such as pads in your shoes, shoe inserts, additions to the insoles or heels of your shoes, or custom-made braces. Surgery may be necessary. This may mean cleaning the arthritic joint, eliminating the painful motion of the joint, replacing the joint with an artificial joint or a combination of all these.
After surgery, you will require a period of rehabilitation when your foot might have to be in a cast and you might have to wear special shoes or braces for a while.