Arthritis is a disease that is most often associated with the elderly but can also develop in a younger individual. The disease can affect any part of the human body where joints are located. Once developed. Arthritis can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort; thus leading to a lower quality-of-life. In some cases, especially when detected early on, the disease can be treated successfully and the symptoms can be managed to a point where any flare-ups only cause mild pain and discomfort. In other cases, however, the disease can cause severe deterioration of joints; thus leading to higher levels of pain and inflammation, as well as disability.
What is Ankle and Foot Arthritis?
In this article, we want to focus on arthritis symptoms that develop in the ankle and the foot. While this location is not as commonly targeted as the hands and fingers, it still deserves a particular focus due to the fact that arthritis in these locations can lead to the inability to walk properly and, in more serious cases, could even cause the patient to be unable to walk entirely. We are going to focus on different aspects of this ankle and foot arthritis, including the symptoms a patient should look out for, the potential causes of the disease and how patients can treat arthritis in these locations.
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Types Of Arthritis That Can Affect The Ankle And Feet
Firstly, we should note that there are over 100 different types of arthritis that have been identified by medical experts. While each of these diseases attacks the joints and cause symptoms to develop in the affected joints, they do tend to affect the joints and the patient’s life in different ways.
According to Silverman Ankle & Foot, the following are the most common types of foot arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis – The most common arthritis is Osteoarthritisthat causes joints to break down; thus leading to bones rubbing directly against each other.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis -An inflammatory disease that is considered serious. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in the joints; thus leading to damage and pain.
- Psoriatic Arthritis -A type of arthritis that is experienced by approximately 5% of patients who develops psoriasis.
- Gout –Gout is also a type of arthritis that tends to affect certain parts of the feet in most cases, such as the big toe. It is caused by uric acid that builds up in joints.
- Traumatic Arthritis -A type of arthritis that occurs after a joint has been exposed to a traumatic injury, such as a sports accident.
When it comes to ankle arthritis, the types of this disease that can affect the joints in the ankle are quite similar. Once again, Osteoarthritis remains the most common form of arthritis in the ankle as well, with Rheumatoid Arthritis again being considered one of the most serious forms of the disease in the ankle.
Symptoms Of Ankle And Foot Arthritis
Experiencing pain in the ankle and foot now-and-then doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. It could be from overworked joints, such as after a run. When these symptoms continue to present themselves, even with no excessive use of the joints, and the pain gradually starts to get worse, then it should most definitely be a call for concern.
Looking out for the most common symptoms of arthritis is vital – since the ankle and foot are essential for walking, a patient could end up unable to work properly or at all when arthritis in these areas become severe and causes a significant amount of deterioration.
what causes sore feet and ankle?
With osteoarthritis, the most common symptoms that a patient would experience in the joints located within the feet or ankle includes pain that can also be accompanied by tenderness. The joints will also feel stiff and they will experience a reduced range of motion in the affected joints. Their ability to walk and move around may also be impaired – sometimes only mildly, but at other times they could find it difficult even to walk just a couple of steps. Another symptom not to ignore is swelling within the affected joints.
Causes Of Ankle And Foot Arthritis
The cause of ankle arthritis and foot arthritis really depends on the type of arthritis that has developed. The most common type of arthritis in these areas, being Osteoarthritis, usually develops due to wear-and-tear over the years, which is why this particular form of arthritis is most often associated with older people. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a type of autoimmune disease; thus it develops when the patient’s immune system starts to attack healthy tissue in their body – in this case, joint tissue located within the feet or ankles. Gout, on the other hand, is caused by a uric acid buildup in the affected joint. The uric acid crystallizes and then causes sharp pain as the crystallized uric acid touches the joint.
Diagnoses Of Ankle And Foot Arthritis
Being diagnosed with arthritis in the foot or ankle is the first step to obtaining treatment for these diseases. When a patient visits a doctor, they will be asked about the symptoms they are experiencing – the doctor will primarily ask them about specific symptoms that are associated with each kind of arthritis that may be suspected. If the doctor suspects that the patient is indeed suffering from arthritis in the ankle or foot, then they will request further tests to be performed.
Such tests may include an MRI scan and X-rays to identify particular parts of the ankles and feet that have been affected by arthritis, as well as to determine the level of damage that has already been dealt. The doctor may also request joint fluid tests and blood tests from a laboratory to further assess the patient’s condition. These tests will ultimately help the doctor discover the particular type of arthritis the patient has developed, which will then assist them in creating an appropriate treatment plan for the patient.
Treatment Of Ankle And Foot Arthritis
The treatment that is administered for arthritis in the feet or ankles often defers from one patient to another. A doctor has to take several factors into account before they are able to compile an effective treatment plan for a specific patient. The factors that need to be considered are the imaging tests and laboratory tests performed during the diagnosis of the disease, which helps the doctor identify the extent of the disease and the specific type of arthritis the patient has developed.
Depending on the severity of the disease, a doctor may recommend either nonsurgical or surgical treatments to the patient. With nonsurgical treatment options, the patient may be given certain medication or topical analgesics like LivRelief to help relieve the pain they are experiencing and to reduce inflammation. Assistive devices may also be provided to them, as well as physical therapy. A doctor is also likely to recommend certain lifestyle changes, such as minimizing the amount of activities performed that puts excess strain on the affected area.
Should surgery be required for the treatment of arthritis in these areas, different options may be administered, depending on the specific joints affected, the type of arthritis and the severity of the disease.
Arthritis can affect any part of the body, including the ankles and the feet. When arthritis develops in these particular body areas, it can cause severe discomfort, pain and even lead to the inability to walk; thus leading to disability.
Identifying the possibility of arthritis in these areas as soon as possible is vital for a more successful treatment and to ensure the patient does not experience complete disability.
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