What is Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle?
The basic unit of a joint is made up of two bony surfaces with cartilage lining. Cartilage allows for shock absorption and fluid range of motion. Damage and degeneration of the cartilage is known as osteoarthritis. This leads to narrowing of the joint space, bone on bone irritation, and sometimes bony growths.
Causes and Symptoms
Common causes can be due to traumatic injury, repetitive overuse, and hereditary factors. Arthritis can also manifest as a result of various autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid and psoriasis. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of range of motion, difficulty walking and performing activities.
The goal of non-surgical care is to relieve pain and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. These can include:
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Custom orthotics/bracing
- Activity modification
When pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis become resistant to conservative care surgery may be warranted. The goal with surgery is to reduce pain and improve function. Your foot and ankle surgeon will evaluate you closely to determine the right procedure for you. Surgery can involve fusion of one or more joints, or in some cases joint replacement (most commonly in the ankle). The patient can expect a period of cast immobilization followed by physical therapy.
Atlantic Joint Center Locations
855 Lehigh Ave. Union, NJ 07083
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1045 Park Ave., New York, NY 10028
475 Prospect Ave., Ste. 110, West Orange, NJ 07052