Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Arthritis of the foot and ankle involve inflammation that can cause stiffness and pain. When left untreated, symptoms can worsen and greatly limit your ability to walk and meet the demands of daily life. Although there are more than 100 forms of arthritis that can affect the joints, osteoarthritis the most common cause of arthritis in the foot and ankle.

Osteoarthritis occurs as the result of aging, which is characterized by damage to soft tissue joint cartilage between joint bones. Patients with osteoarthritis experience pain, inflammation, and swelling of the joint, and the condition can progress and cause more pain and stiffness over time.

Post-traumatic arthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to join deterioration. Post-traumatic arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis, and may develop following injuries to the feet or ankles, including fractures, sprains, and injuries to ligaments.

Available Treatments

Treatment approaches to arthritis of the foot and ankle address both pain and joint deformity. At Torrance Memorial Physician Network, our specialists provide nonsurgical and surgical management of all types of arthritis to help patients return to activity.

Nonsurgical treatment can include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers
  • Orthotics, including inserts, pads, or arch support
  • Custom-tailored shoes, including shoes with stiff soles or rocker bottom
  • Ankle foot orthosis (AFO) support
  • Walking aids, including braces or canes
  • Physical therapy and strengthening exercises
  • Weight control and nutrition
  • Injections of corticosteroids may help control pain and inflammation, but not all patients obtain relief from steroid / cortisone treatment

Surgical treatment:

When patients do not find relief using conservative and nonsurgical approaches, surgery may be necessary to control pain. Surgical management will vary depending on the type of arthritis in the foot and ankle and where it is located, as well as the impact the condition has had on joints. In some cases, more than one type of surgery may be required to effectively provide relief. Surgical options can include:

  • Arthroscopy
  • Arthrodesis (joint fusion)
  • Arthroplasty (joint replacement)

Discuss Your Options with a Specialist

If you are struggling with pain caused by arthritis in the foot or ankle, our board-certified specialists are available to help you learn more about the underlying condition, your treatment options, and how we can help. We have three office locations for your convenience. Call us today to request an appointment.