Arthritis Specialist

Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Normal, IL & Pontiac, IL

Around 24 million Americans have to limit their active lifestyle because of arthritis, and many of them experience persistent foot and ankle pain because of their disease. At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic, dedicated podiatrists Craig Cortese, DPM, FACFAS, Steve Yeschek, DPM, and Carl Cortese, BS, DPM, FACFAS, offer the best care for arthritis affecting the feet and ankles. There are two office locations in Normal and Pontiac, Illinois, so call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.

Arthritis Q & A

Why are feet prone to arthritis damage?

Arthritis can affect nearly any part of your body, but it's often especially harmful in the feet and ankles. Arthritis attacks your joints, and your two feet have 66 joints combined.

In total, your feet contain almost 25% of all the bones in your whole body, and healthy joints keep these bones connected and working together smoothly. Because you constantly use your feet and ankles, damage in those joints can be particularly harmful.

What types of arthritis affect the feet?

Of the 100-plus forms of arthritis, the three that most commonly affect the feet and ankles are:


Osteoarthritis often occurs in the big toe, and sometimes in the midfoot area. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage that coats the end of your joints breaks down. This allows bones to rub together causing serious pain, restricted movement, and stiffness.


Gout, or gouty arthritis, can occur when you have too-high uric acid levels. Uric acid forms crystals that build up within your joints, most often affecting your big toe. Gout can cause pronounced swelling and pain in your big toe.

Gout attacks often start after foot trauma or illness, but can also occur sporadically over a long period. If you don't get treatment, years of gout attacks can cause bumps under your skin, called tophi.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis causes severe inflammation, usually within smaller joints like those in the feet. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis often damages more than a dozen small joints within your body.

The onset is often severe, causing serious stiffness and pain. Usually, damage happens symmetrically, affecting both sides of your body. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in flare-ups, followed by periods of remission.

Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic offers comprehensive foot and ankle arthritis solutions for all forms of arthritis.

How do you treat foot and ankle arthritis?

Treatment focuses on reducing inflammation, restoring lost joint function, preserving healthy joint function, and relieving your symptoms.

You may need a variety of therapy types, including:

  • MLS laser therapy, a light-based treatment to ease pain, swelling, and inflammation
  • Physical therapy like whirlpool and ultrasound
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medication
  • Custom orthotics for foot function problems related to arthritis

Often, the Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic podiatrists are the first providers to diagnose arthritis because it so often affects the feet and ankles.

When this happens, your podiatrist helps you find a medical doctor who specializes in arthritis. Then, your podiatrist and doctor can work together to ensure maximum whole-body treatment effectiveness.

Call Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic or use the online scheduling tool for arthritis treatment.