Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic

Foot & Ankle Arthritis

There are many forms of arthritis and related conditions that affect muscles, joints, and bones in our feet that cause problems like pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are other conditions that cause additional problems like tingling, numbness, painful ulcers, thick skin, or pitted nails. Here is a list of arthritis conditions that affect our feet:
  • Osteoarthritis - commonly affects the big toe, can also affect the mid-foot. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition. It is the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones where they meet from the joints. This breakdown causes the bones to rub against each other, causing loss of movement in the joint, pain, and stiffness.
Foot arthritis, ankle arthritis - Podiatrist in Bloomington-Normal, Pontiac, and Clinton
  • Gout - a form of arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid, a bodily waste product circulating in the bloodstream, is deposited as needle-shaped monosodium urate crystals in tissues of the body, including the joints. For thousands of people, the first symptom is excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe - often following a trauma like an illness or injury. Other attacks may occur off and on in other joints. After years with the disease, lumps of uric acid, called tophi, may form beneath skin.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms are different from person to person and can closely resemble other inflammatory joint conditions, often making the diagnosis challenging. How can you know if the symptoms are rheumatoid arthritis? One of easiest, stand out features of the disease is that it invades the little joints; for example, of the feet or the hands. And the pain is symmetrical — if it affects the first toe on the left foot, it usually will affect the same toe on the right foot.

The team approach is your best bet for getting treatment and diagnosis. Your Podiatrist will help you find a respectable rheumatologist — your team captain — you may also need physical and occupational therapy to help with the symptoms.

Inflammation is what usually causes the chronic pain and swelling. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the body's defense system destroys the synovial membrane (the tissue that lines the joints), the ligaments, or the tendons. If left untreated , the inflammation can affect other vital organs like your heart, adding the risk of heart disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis comes in a variety of symptoms and conditions that are unpredictable: In some patients, the disease will stay active for a couple of years. Others may have months of flare ups, followed by remissions; and still others may live with the condition for many years, resulting in huge and usually serious joint damage. While Rheumatoid Arthritis mostly happens in the smaller joints of the fingers, hands, and wrists, it may also affect hips, knees, ankles, feet, neck, shoulders, and elbows. Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis at the earliest stage can help decrease and even halt the damage altogether.

There are a number of prescription drugs available to deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are medications to control the swelling, pain, and complications that come with Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as to decrease the spreading of the disease.

Alternative Treatments...
Cod liver oil, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, is really the only alternative supplement that has been widely praised for relieving symptoms such as swelling and pain among people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Cod Liver Oil may also have heart benefits as well.

However, there are some possible negative effects of cod liver oil that include heavy bleeding and tender skin with bruising and you may be exposed to mercury.

Ginger is a spice that comes from the root of the ginger plant. It can be boiled in tea, ground up to a powder, used fresh. Ginger has been used for hundreds of years to fight swelling and edema. Always check with your Podiatrist or doctor before using any alternative supplement.