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Arthritis

Many patients suffer from hundreds of arthritis related diseases. There are many treatment options to help minimize the symptoms.

Types of Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative or "wear and tear" arthritis): This is a common problem for many people after they reach middle age. Over the years, the smooth, gliding surface covering the ends of bones (cartilage) becomes worn and frayed. This results in inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joint. Osteoarthritis progresses slowly and the pain and stiffness it causes worsens over time.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Unlike osteoarthritis which follows a predictable pattern in certain joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a system-wide disease. It is an inflammatory disease where the patient's own immune system attacks and destroys cartilage.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the foot or ankle. This type of arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture, severe sprain, or ligament injury.

Symptoms

  •     Pain or tenderness
  •     Stiffness or reduced motion
  •     Swelling
  •     Difficulty walking

Diagnosis

Dr. Paul will review your medical history and conduct proper testing which may include X-rays, a CT Scans, and/or an MRI

Nonsurgical Treatment

Some Options Include:

  •     Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
  •     Orthotics
  •     Custom-made shoes
  •     An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)
  •     Physical therapy and exercises
  •     Weight control or nutritional supplements
  •     Medications

Surgical Treatment

If arthritis does not respond to nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment might be considered. 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. Sometimes more than one type of surgery will be needed.

Surgery performed for arthritis of the foot and ankle includes arthroscopic debridement, arthrodesis (or fusion of the joints), and arthroplasty (replacement of the affected joint).

Recovery

Foot and ankle surgery can be painful. Pain relievers in the hospital and for a time period after being released from the hospital may help.  It is important to keep your foot elevated above the level of your heart for one to two weeks following surgery.  Your doctor may recommend physical therapy for several months to help you regain strength in your foot or ankle and to restore range of motion. Ordinary daily activities usually can be resumed in three to four months. You may need special shoes or braces.  In most cases, surgery relieves pain and makes it easier to perform daily activities. Full recovery takes four to nine months, depending on the severity of your condition before surgery, and the complexity of your procedure.