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Orthopedic Specialists -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Specialists

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Palm Harbor, FL

Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis Q & A

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What is osteoarthritis?

This inflammatory joint condition is associated with loss of cartilage as we age. It is extremely common, with more than 3 million cases per year in the United States. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. When it affects the lower extremities, it is often found in three areas:

  • The joints involving the heel bone, inner midfoot bone, and outer midfoot bone
  • The joint where the shin bone and ankle meet
  • The joint of the foot bone and big toe

What are the symptoms of foot and ankle osteoarthritis?

  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness are the most common signs of osteoarthritis. 
  • If you feel pain when you move the ankle or foot, 
  • Have trouble moving it or putting weight on it, 
  • Experience joint stiffness, tenderness or warmth
  • Feel pain and swelling at rest

How is ankle and foot osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough examination of the area and go over your medical history. X-rays are commonly used to detect osteoarthritis, but an MRI or CT scan can also help in diagnosing this condition.

What are treatments for osteoarthritis in the ankle and foot?

Conservative measures are usually the first course of treatment. Depending on the symptoms and severity, you may be treated with:

  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom-fitted shoes, orthotics, pads, or arch supports

Surgeries for foot and ankle arthritis include fusing bones together (arthrodesis) or, in severe cases, joint replacement surgery. 

The highly experienced doctors at Orthopedic Specialists have the expertise you need to treat osteoarthritis and all foot and ankle conditions. Schedule an evaluation today.  

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