While arthritis of the foot and ankle is less common than other joints like the knee, it can still cause a lot of pain, stiffness, and limitation of motion especially when it affects the ankle joint or base of the big toe. These limitations can adversely affect use of the foot for work, sports like dance, and limit individuals’ normal daily activity. Ankle or big toe (hallux) arthritis can make common work related and sports activity painful and difficult because of pain pushing off on the affected foot to propel your body forward with activity. From office work to physically demanding jobs, foot and ankle arthritis pain can lead to added workload on the ankle, knee, and other joints of the leg to compensate which may result in additional joint pain.
While foot arthritis can occur after an injury to the foot or toe like a fracture, sprain, or previous dislocation, sometimes it occurs secondary to other biomechanical problems like a bunion or fallen arch. Arthritis of the foot can also be associated with inflammatory arthritis like gout and calcium pyrophosphate crystals that can cause sudden pain and inflammation of the joint capsule and over time leading to damage of one or both feet.
Inflammatory arthritis of the foot and especially big toe affects many adults and benefits from early detection and treatment. At Sports Health Northwest, our sports injury doctor can carefully evaluate your foot and utilize lab and imaging resources to effectively diagnose and treat causes of foot arthritis.
Individuals with foot arthritis commonly present to our sports injury clinic with episodes of pain, stiffness, swelling, and warmth of the joint. These episodes are usually brief at first, but can last longer and be more painful over time.
If you have been noticing more pain or stiffness with your foot or ankle, contact your physician. Our sports injury doctor will thoroughly evaluate your concerns and provide you with a variety of available medical treatments to help restore function and get you back to pain free activity.
Foot and ankle arthritis pain usually responds well to non-surgical treatments. At Sports Health Northwest, we are happy to discuss treatment options with you to help your pain get better.