Although being diagnosed with arthritis in your foot or ankle can be a scary thing, there are a number of options to provide relief and improve your quality of life.
Here are a few of the options to help you overcome arthritis…
There are a number of ways to treat ankle or foot arthritis non-surgically. These include:
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce and control the swelling
- Shoe inserts
- Custom-made shoes
- An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)
- A brace or a cane
- Physical therapy and exercises
- Weight control or nutritional supplements
- Medications, such as a steroid medication injected into the joint
We also may consider surgery as an option. The choice of surgery will depend on the type of arthritis, the impact of the disease on the joints, and the location of the arthritis itself.
Arthroscopic surgery may be helpful in the early stages of arthritis. An arthroscope fitted with a small camera is inserted into the joint through small incisions. The camera projects images of the joint onto a television monitor and this allows us to look directly inside the joint and identify the problem areas. Small instruments at the end of the arthroscope, such as probes, forceps, knives, and shavers, are used to clean the joint area.
Arthrodesis or Fusion
Arthrodesis fuses the bones of the joint completely, making one continuous bone. We use pins, plates and screws, or rods to hold the bones in the proper position while the joint or joints fuse.
Arthroplasty or Joint Replacement
In arthroplasty, the damaged ankle joint is replaced with an artificial joint. Although not as common as as total hip or knee joint replacement, advances in implant design have come a long way. Ankle replacements can provide patients with better mobility and movement as compared to fusion.
If you think you may have arthritis of the foot or you’re experiencing ankle or heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.
Oh, and one more thing…if you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook where we share foot tips, great pictures, and fun facts!