Arthritis can come from old injuries or can happen due to things we did in the past for work or sport. It can lead to painful conditions that prevent exercise or activities.
There are three major types of arthritis that can affect any of the 33 joints in the foot and ankle. They are osteoarthritis, posttraumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (the most common type) is the wearing down of the cartilage that cushions the joint and allows smooth bending and straightening motions. Cartilage also protects the joint against weight-bearing stresses. Over time the cartilage gets rough and frayed causing pain when the joint moves. This type of arthritis develops slowly, increasing pain and stiffness as time goes on. Once the cartilage wears down there is bone-on-bone rubbing when the joint moves. This can cause painful bone spurs. When you have arthritis in the foot or ankle it can make walking, running or many other activities difficult.
Posttraumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis. This kind of arthritis happens after an injury. It can happen soon after an injury or take years to be noticed. Joints that sustain injury are more likely to develop arthritis than joints that have not had an injury. This type of arthritis will have damage to the cartilage so it is rough or missing which can cause bone-on-bone rubbing. It can also cause inflammation and pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints. Immune cells will attack tissues like the synovium, a soft tissue membrane that is an important component of the tissues that form an integrated joint. This can cause swelling and the swelling can damage other things in your body like tendons and ligaments. Over time the bone and cartilage can get damaged and can cause joint deformity and disability.
Symptoms of arthritis
- Pain when walking
- Stiffness in joints
- Pain after sitting or resting for long periods
- Tenderness in joints
- Swelling or redness
- Pain with motion
If you are experiencing symptoms or you are unsure about pain in your foot or ankle have it examined. At Williamsburg Podiatry we are always here to help you get your foot and ankle problems solved so you can get back to your active lifestyle.