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Osteoarthritis: Symptoms and treatment


Symptoms of osteoarthritis

There are more than 30 joints in the foot and ankle, and every time you stand, walk, run, or simply move your foot, you’re using some of these joints. Our foot and ankle joints are strong, designed to tolerate plenty of daily use.

Your joints have cartilage in between the bones to keep the bones from rubbing together when they move. But with osteoarthritis, this cartilage wears down, and the protection your bones had diminishes or even disappears altogether. In your feet, this results in symptoms such as:

  • Joint pain and stiffness, particularly in the morning or after resting (many people notice this at the base of the big toe and/or the ankle)
  • Swelling around a joint
  • A feeling of warmth in the joints
  • Clicking or cracking when joints move

These symptoms may get worse with time, making it difficult to walk or participate in daily activities.

Treatment for osteoarthritis

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the symptoms can be treated to give you a better quality of life. Your podiatrist can talk with you about ways you can manage the pain of osteoarthritis, including:

  • Switching to low-impact activities and/or avoiding activities that cause pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatories and icing
  • Bracing and/or custom molded orthotics
  • Joint replacement or fusion surgery
  • Wearing stiff, supportive shoes

Don’t assume that you have to live with joint pain. If your feet or ankles hurt, make sure you see a podiatrist to determine the cause. If it is OA, your podiatrist can evaluate your condition and suggest treatment options to help get you back to a more active life again.

Your feet and ankles work hard every day – so if they’re causing you pain, let us help. Call us at (913) 338-4440 or contact us online to request an appointment.