Foot arthritis could be described as one of the more common forms of arthritis. The problem with the foot is that it consists of 28 bones and 30 joints, of which any are susceptible to arthritis. If arthritis develops in any of these joints, its going to affect the way you walk, run and move in general. The joints in the foot which are more commonly affected are: the big toe, the ankle, the mid foot and the hind foot joint.
The most common form of arthritis which develops in the foot is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of getting older, and essentially wear and tear on the joints and cartilage. The cartilage wears down, and the bones rub together resulting in pain and swelling.
Traumatic arthritis is a common form of osteoarthritis that develops in the foot of a patient following some form of severe injury. This can develop in the foot even when the injury was treated correctly, and given time to recover fully. The most common forms of traumatic foot arthritis are a torn ligament, broken bone or severe sprain.
There are various symptoms and indications of foot arthritis, which should alert the sufferer to the condition immediately. These symptoms include swelling, tenderness, pain, stiffness and reduced mobility of the affected joint. All these symptoms will eventually lead to a difficulty in walking.
For a doctor to properly diagnose foot arthritis, a serious of tests and physical examinations will need to be performed. The doctor will also require information about your health and lifestyle to give clues on the complexity of the condition. The next step is to perform a walking analysis. In performing this walking analysis, the doctor will measure your stride and test your ankle and foot strength. Certain diagnostic imaging tests may also be required to further diagnose your condition- theses may include and X-Ray, CT or MRI scan.
After fully evaluating your foot arthritis, your doctor/physician will devise the most suitable treatment plan. There are many non-surgical treatments available, these include:
Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Foot brace or cane usage
Ankle and foot support usage
The final treatment option is surgery, and is generally reserved as a 'last resort' when all other treatment methods have failed. The key to effectively treating arthritis is early diagnosis. Don't ignore those sensations of stiffness and soreness; see a doctor as soon as possible, so that you have the best chance of treating your foot arthritis.