Learn to Recognize Osteoarthritis in Your Feet and Ankles

arthritis foot pain

What happens when you rub two things together? You get friction. That’s what’s going on with the disease we call osteoarthritis.

To understand osteoarthritis, it helps to know a little bit about joints and cartilage. A joint is where two or more bones meet. Cartilage provides a slick surface that allows every joint in the body to work smoothly, allowing you to bend and twirl your ankle easily. Cartilage’s main job is to prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. But as you get older, joint cartilage can wear down. Bone rubbing against bone equals friction and pain.

There are over 30 joints in the feet and ankles, so there’s lots of opportunity for some joint pain. Osteoarthritis of the feet and ankles commonly affects the big toe, the heel, and the top of the ankle. Arthritis, often complicated by bone spurs, can grow as the bones attempt to repair and protect themselves.

Some of the tell-tale signs of osteoarthritis include:

  • joints that feel achy and stiff, especially first thing in the morning
  • joint pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • limited movement in the joint – for example, you can’t bend your big toe
  • a joint that appears larger than normal
  • joint pain when walking
  • a crackling sound when you move the joint (crepitus)

How we treat it

Arthritis is a progressive disease, meaning it’s probably going to get worse, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms and to treat them early. We offer many treatment methods that reduce the pain and slow the progression of osteoarthritis:

  • stretching exercises
  • strengthening exercises
  • braces, pads, and custom orthotics
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • fixing other foot problems that may be contributing to arthritis pain
  • surgery

Our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann help relieve arthritis pain, common in people over age 45. Call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We offer a modern office with the latest technology for podiatric patients in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties, proudly serving our patients from Solon, Aurora, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.