April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and we’d like to use this time to bring awareness to arthritis, a joint condition that can cause chronic foot pain. When one or more of your toe joints gets inflamed, it leads to arthritis. Those with this condition may have difficulty walking and participating in activities and daily events that they used to enjoy.
Because of this, taking care of your feet becomes crucial and learning about this disability can help you better navigate it. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but today we’re going to talk about the three main forms – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, and posttraumatic.
Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage in your joints. If your cartilage starts to wear away, it becomes tough, making the protective space between bones decrease. This causes your bones to rub together, often leading to uncomfortable bone spurs. Often your pain and stiffness worsen over time, as this condition develops slowly. Osteoarthritis is known as degenerative or wear-and-tear arthritis because of this.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that typically starts in the foot or ankle but can grow to affect other parts of the body. For this disease, the immune system attacks the synovium covering a joint, leading to swelling. As time goes on, this creates damage to the cartilage, bone, ligaments, and tendons. In more serious cases, it can cause joint deformity and disability.
As the name suggests, posttraumatic arthritis develops after a foot or ankle injury. Fractures and dislocations that damage the joint surface often lead to this form of disease. Posttraumatic arthritis may develop years after your injury. Similarly, to osteoarthritis, the cartilage between joints wears away over time. Seeking help after a foot or ankle injury is crucial, especially since injured joints are seven times more likely to develop arthritis than uninjured joints.
Need treatment for arthritis? Call our office today. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Anne-Louise Smith, Dr. Justin Muser, and the rest of the staff at Syracuse Podiatry in East Syracuse, New York, can help treat and care for your feet. Call us at 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online to get help today.