Foot Arthritis

Foot problems, including bunions and hammertoes as well as general pain and stiffness that develop with aging, can be caused by arthritis of the foot. The three types of foot arthritis are: osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis (systemic autoimmune disorder), or post-traumatic arthritis (following a foot fracture, sprain, or ligament injury). Without treatment, the arthritis can worsen to severely limit mobility.

Symptoms

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty walking

Treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory and/or steroid medications
  • Orthotics, including pads, arch supports, and gel toe caps or shields
  • Custom-made footwear with a high and wide toe box and/or rocker soles (to reduce stress on the ball of the foot)
  • Assistive devices such as a cane
  • Bracing
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery (arthroscopic debridement to clean arthritic joints; arthrodesis to fuse joints; arthroplasty to replace joints)