Foot & Ankle Surgery
The foot is a complex structure, made up of 28 bones and more than 30 joints, including the tibiotalar joint (ankle), the hindfoot joints, the midfoot joints, and the great toe. For a variety of reasons, these joints can become damaged, causing significant pain and immobility. When damaged by arthritis or a traumatic injury, significant dysfunction occurs, limiting a patient's mobility.
Foot & Ankle Arthritis
Arthritis is a debilitating condition affecting the bones and joints of millions of Americans. While arthritis most commonly affects the weight-bearing joints of the body, such as the hip or the knee, joints such as the hand, foot, and ankle can develop arthritis. The orthopaedic condition causes pain and stiffness in the joints, and often grows worse when left untreated.
Arthritis in the foot can occur in a number of joints, including the ankle (tibiotalar joint), the hindfoot (calcaneus, navicular, or cuboid joints), the midfoot where the toes connect to the midfoot, as well as on the great toe. Causes of foot arthritis include degenerative wear-and-tear in the case of osteoarthritis, autoimmune disease in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic injuries affecting the bones in the foot.
Arthritis of the ankle affects the joint between the tibia (shinbone), and the talus (anklebone). This joint, known as the tibiotalar joint, can develop arthritis for a number of reasons, including traumatic injuries, joint infections, and autoimmunity diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with ankle arthritis may have trouble with natural ankle flexion, and will compensate by modifying the walking pattern.
Symptoms of Foot And Ankle Arthritis
Patients suffering from foot and ankle arthritis will most frequently complain of pain. Other common symptoms include:
- Stiffness or immobility
- Joint swelling and tenderness
- Bone spurs that give the appearance of a lumpy growth
- Joint deformity
- Instability, or a feeling that the joint will 'give out'