Foot & Ankle Osteoarthritis
If you're among the millions of Americans living with osteoarthritis, the cartilage (cushioning) in your joints has worn down. The ends of your bones rub together, causing pain and limiting your daily activities. Ask EvergreenHealth Foot and Ankle Care for personalized advice on easing arthritis pain in your big toe, ankle, or foot.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
In addition to pain, you may experience:
- Trouble walking or bending your joint
- Bone spur, a bony lump that may limit movement
Foot and ankle cartilage wears away over time with stress and age. Osteoarthritis may also develop months or years after a fracture, sprain, or an injury due to dropping something on the toes or foot. You're at higher risk of osteoarthritis if you have flat feet or high arches.
Your podiatrist with EvergreenHealth Foot and Ankle Care will ask about your symptoms and look for swelling and signs your foot or ankle doesn't move or bend as much as it should. You may also need to get an X-ray test.
Conservative, Nonsurgical Treatments
You'll receive personalized treatment recommendations, which may begin with:
- Over-the-counter medications or prescription steroid drugs to relieve pain
- Custom orthotic devices (shoe inserts designed for you) to support your foot
- Brace to restrict painful movements and prevent further injury
- Cast or walking boot to keep your foot and ankle still so it can heal
- Physical therapy exercises to strengthen and stabilize muscles, if you have ankle osteoarthritis
- Steroid injections to reduce inflammation
If you don't feel enough relief after trying conservative approaches, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. You'll learn the best surgical approach for your condition and lifestyle. Most likely, you'll receive an outpatient procedure that allows you to return home the same day. Learn more about what to expect from foot and ankle surgery at EvergreenHealth.