Arthritis

Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term used to describe “joint inflammation”. The most common form, known as “osteoarthritis” refers to the breakdown and loss of cartilage in a joint. Osteoarthritis occurs through a “wear and tear” process because the joint wears down with repeated use over time as the cartilage becomes thinner and thinner. Another cause of arthritis in the foot and ankle is post-traumatic arthritis. This occurs when a fracture occurs through a joint and affects the joint surface leading to cartilage injury. This can occur in the great toe joint (after a kicking injury), the midfoot (after an injury known as a Lisfranc’ fracture), or after a major ankle fracture. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, swelling, difficulty walking or bending the joint affected. There are both non-surgical and surgical options to management osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle. Surgery is needed when non-surgical options have failed to improve symptoms or the arthritis has progressed substantially.