John Sigle, DPM, FACFAS, Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois
If you are suffering from arthritis you are not alone. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability that affects over 40 million Americans. People over age 50 are most prone to arthritis but younger people are also potential victims. The feet are more susceptible than other parts of the body because each foot has 33 joints that are subjected to the body’s weight-bearing load. Arthritic feet can be painful, and result in a loss of mobility and independence, and poorer quality of life. In some instances it can be crippling. There is no cure for arthritis but there are many treatment options to bring it into control or remission. Early detection and treatment can help to slow its progression. If you are suffering from this condition, it may be time to step ahead of arthritis by pursuing treatment.
Description of Arthritis
The simple definition of arthritis is joint inflammation (“arthr” means joint, and “itis” means inflammation). It is one of the body’s natural reactions to injury or disease that results in swelling, stiffness, and pain. The joints most commonly affected by arthritis in the foot are in the great toe joint, midfoot, hindfoot (heel bone, and inner and outer midfoot bone), and ankle joint.
Common Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis, are the most common types that affect the foot and ankle.
Non-surgical treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, bracing, immobilization in removable boots or castes, custom made orthotics, anti-inflammatory steroid injections, weight control, canes or walkers, pain relievers, alternative shoes, exercise, and physical therapy.
Surgery is a viable option for end-stage arthritis when nonsurgical treatments have not worked. Your foot and ankle surgeon will select the type of surgery that is best for you. The types of surgery performed include arthroscopic debridement, fusion (arthrodesis), or joint replacement (arthroplasty), and arthrodiastasis (external fixator to maintain joint motion, correct alignment, and preserve toe length).
If you are looking for a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon or want additional information, contact Dr. Sigle at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois at 217-787-2700. Also, visit www.myfootandanklecenter.com for additional information, videos, and articles on foot care.Back to Top