Arthritis comes in many forms, osteoarthritis is the most common form which is characterized by the breakdown or loss of cartilage within the joints of the body. For example, hallux rigidus which is a common arthritic condition seen in the big toe joint of the foot.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by excessive wear and tear of the joint which may be caused by; age, repetitive micro-trauma, or abrupt traumatic injury to the joint. In either case, the development of degenerative arthritis starts with loss of protective covering within the joint called cartilage. Osteoarthritis progresses more quickly as the severity of the injury increases. Poor foot bio-mechanics may also lead to early degenerative arthritis.
Increased stiffness, decreased motion of the joint, and increased swelling of the joint. Patients also present with pain within the joint on range of motion, i.e when moving the joint.
Is based on a history and physical exam of your symptoms. Imaging studies may also be incorporated by the foot and ankle surgeon to further help determine the severity of the condition.
Conservative treatments consist of:
Treatment is critical to prevent further damage of the arthritic joint. Controlling the inflammation and pain using anti inflammatory medications, custom orthotic devices, and or immobilization. Physical therapy helps decrease stiffness and increase range of motion, decreasing the progression of degenerative arthritis. Also, we offer advanced laser therapy, used by many professional athletes, that is non-invasive and proven to get you back on your feet faster and pain free.
When all conservative treatments fail to alleviate the patient’s pain symptoms, the foot and ankle surgeon will consider the procedure best suited to the patient’s condition and lifestyle.