Arthritis Of The Foot
Arthritis refers to the swelling and inflammation within a joint. This swelling of the feet and foot pain caused by arthritis makes walking and exercise very uncomfortable. Many treatments are available from the best podiatrist in New York, including orthotics, oral medications, joint injections, and sometimes surgery. Several different types of arthritis can affect your feet, such as:
- Gouty Arthritis;
- Rheumatoid Arthritis;
- Infectious Arthritis;
- Metabolic Arthritis;
- Psoriatic Arthritis.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. These are described in more detail below. All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your local foot doctor podiatrist in New York for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan and exclude any serious underlying condition.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis found in your feet. Your NYC podiatrist may refer to it as “degenerative arthritis” or “wear and tear arthritis.”
Anyone with a sports-related injury — such as ligament tears, joint dislocations, or torn cartilage — is at a much higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing away of cartilage in the joints of your foot. Cartilage is a smooth coating that lines our joints, and it functions to allow smooth gliding motion in the body. Cartilage damage can result from an injury or simply from prolonged use. Inflammation, pain, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of osteoarthritis. While arthritis is considered a natural part of aging, proper shoe-wear and lifestyle adjustments can limit its progression.
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Osteoarthritis is common in older people, but it can also affect those much younger in age. Younger individuals who find themselves suffering from joint pain are typically athletes or have sustained some injury. Arthritis can also be hereditary, so it’s important to give a foot doctor a full history.
- Tender joints;
- Gnawing pain;
- Stiffness in the morning;
- Limited range of motion.
Besides performing a physical exam, the best NYC podiatrists rely heavily on your reporting any of these symptoms and your family history for a firm diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Surgery is an option when all other treatments have been exhausted.
Bunion Versus Big-Toe Arthritis?
Arthritis symptoms in the big toe joint can often resemble a bunion due to the formation of bone spurring around an arthritic joint. Treatment for Arthritis and bunions differ. Thus it is important to get a proper diagnosis by a foot specialist. It is possible to have arthritis and a bunion at the same time. Most bunion surgeries include removing the bump from the big toe joint and shifting the bone over. A leading bunion surgeon in NYC, Our Podiatrists, performs bunion removal in Manhattan via a minimal incision over the deformity to obtain an optimal cosmetic result.
Your podiatric doctor in NYC will choose the treatment that best accommodates your lifestyle and overall health. This trained foot specialist wants to achieve four basic goals:
- Alleviate your pain;
- Improve your joint mobility;
- Encourage you to maintain a healthy weight;
- Encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle.
Our Podiatrists are the best-rated podiatrist in NYC will implement a comprehensive treatment plan which may including the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medication;
- Joint Injections;
- Physical Therapy;
- Custom Orthotics;
- Surgery when indicated.
Gout is most commonly seen in middle-aged men. However, it can be found in women and men of other ages. Gout is the result of excessive uric acid in your joints. When blood uric acid levels are too high, crystals can form in your joints, causing excruciating pain. While a gouty attack can occur at any joint in the body, it is most likely to present in the foot.
Your podiatrist can help you manage your diet and medication to help you prevent a gouty attack and treat an acute episode. It is important to visit a foot doctor during an acute gout episode because other causes of a swollen joint, such as a septic joint of infection, will need to be ruled out.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis can range from mild discomfort to severe joint deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis can be a painful and crippling condition if not under regular treatment by a foot doctor in conjunction with a rheumatologist.
With this condition, your joints feel sore, stiff, and swollen. The pain and inflammation may come and go. Podiatrists have noted that the condition affects your body symmetrically. So, for example, both feet suffer the same symptoms simultaneously. Although the condition afflicts both sexes, females have a much higher incidence of the disease.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your NYC foot doctor can use both surgical and non-surgical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Non-surgical treatments include:
- Physical therapy: The best podiatrists understand that both stretching and strengthening the joints of your ankle and foot enhance the joint’s function. Not only does such treatment improve your flexibility, but it also helps prevent future deformity.
- Foot massage: Podiatry doctors acknowledge that the foot’s tendons and other muscles become more supple through the increased blood circulation that results from the massage.
- Alternating warm and cold foot baths: Your podiatrist may recommend warm foot baths to help your foot circulation and cold foot baths to decrease your swelling.
- Custom shoes: Most foot doctors recommend avoiding high heels and using more comfortable, supportive shoes. Rocker shoes can help when rheumatoid arthritis limits your ankle movement.
- Orthotics: These shoe inserts are designed to make walking and standing less painful. Your podiatric doctor can prescribe them to relieve pressure on your feet.
- Steroid Injections: Foot specialists use this treatment to reduce swelling and inflammation. It is highly effective but cannot be used regularly as overuse can lead to soft tissue damage.
Considering Surgical Options
Podiatry doctors construct an individualized treatment plan for you based on your specific history and symptoms. Factors such as age, health, and lifestyle dictate whether your podiatrist will resort to surgery.
The best podiatrist in NYC opts for surgery only after conservative treatments have been unsuccessful. Foot specialists may also choose a surgical option if they believe it can improve your joint function and quality of life. The foot specialist’s goal in surgery is to correct the existing deformity enough to relieve pain, improve ambulation, and comfort in shoe wear.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult your foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about arthritis? Would you like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor at Manhattan Foot Specialists? Please contact our Manhattan Podiatry for a consultation.Dr. Mohammad Rimawi has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. New York City Locations Manhattan Foot Specialists (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D14, New York, NY 10028
(212) 389-1886 Manhattan Foot Specialists (Midtown) 51 East 25th Street, Ste 451, NY 10010
(212) 389-9918 Manhattan Foot Specialists (Union Square) 55 W 17th St Ste 106, NY 10011