You may associate arthritis with your knees and other large joints in your body, but each of the 33 joints in your foot and ankle is also vulnerable to this painful inflammatory condition. Lee K. Gold, DPM, and Ignazio D. Perna, DPM, in Brighton, Livonia, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Taylor, and Troy, Michigan, offer expert diagnosis and treatment for arthritis in your feet and ankles to alleviate your pain and improve your mobility and quality of life. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
Arthritis is the umbrella term for a wide range of inflammatory conditions that affect your joints. Among the most common types of arthritis that affect your feet and ankles are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Osteoarthritis is the degenerative form of the disease. It occurs as the cartilage that cushions and lubricates your joints wears away. Your bones are left unprotected, which increases the friction created when you move the joint, leading to inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system attacks the synovial lining in your joints, causing a painful inflammatory response. Rheumatoid arthritis is typically symmetrical, which means it affects the same joints on both sides of your body.
Gout occurs when uric acid crystals build up on a joint. It commonly affects the joint of your big toe. Gout symptoms tend to come and go in periods of flare-up and remission. Gout attacks are often disabling.
The most common symptom of arthritis is joint pain. You may have constant pain, or your pain may increase with movement or vigorous activity. You may also experience:
Arthritis usually develops slowly, and your pain and other symptoms may increase in severity as your disease progresses.
Board-certified podiatrists Dr. Gold and Dr. Perna diagnose arthritis with a comprehensive physical exam and additional diagnostic tests. They talk to you about your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, while examining your feet and ankles.
The doctor may order X-rays and blood work to identify the specific type of arthritis that’s causing your symptoms and the extent of your condition.
Dr. Gold and Dr. Perna provide customized treatment plans to reduce your pain and restore your quality of life. They may suggest over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medication. Many patients benefit from physical therapy to increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles and tendons that surround the affected joints.
They may also recommend lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes. If you have gout, reducing the amount of purines and alcohol in your diet can cut down on the uric acid in your body. Also, losing weight can lessen the stress on your joints and reduce your pain.
If you’re concerned about arthritis, call Dr. Gold or Dr. Perna, or schedule an appointment online today.