Understanding foot osteoarthritis
Foot osteoarthritis is gradual damage to the cartilage of one or more foot joints. With this condition, the ankle joint is generally the first to be affected by the damage. Although the various joints making up this part of the body are used regularly during walking, ankle and foot osteoarthritis is not the most common form osteoarthritis, compared to the types osteoarthritis that can affect the legs, whether knee osteoarthritis or hip osteoarthritis. It is even relatively uncommon among the population and only affects very specific profiles, such as top athletes whose feet are subjected to microtraumas on a regular basis: running, team sports, combat sports etc.
Also, more severe injury, such as sprains or fractures, may represent factors making osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle more likely. We can also find this type of condition in patients with anatomical malformations, such as hallux valgus (bunion) which is where the big toe joint sticks out.
Diagnosing foot osteoarthritis
Pain is the main clinical sign of foot or ankle osteoarthritis. Even if this symptom is common to all types of osteoarthritis, it can also come with functional impairment, likely to affect the patient’s walking ability.
Along with the medical examination, radiological examinations are the main tools that the rheumatologist can use to confirm or rule out the diagnosis of foot and/or ankle osteoarthritis.
Managing and treating foot osteoarthritis
Regular and appropriate physical exercise, healthy balanced diet… In addition to medical follow-up, it makes possible to exert a beneficial effect on your osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle, by adopting certain lifestyle and dietary measures.
To relieve foot osteoarthritis pain, wearing orthopaedic insoles may be an effective therapeutic alternative. Made to measure, these devices can be used to reduce the stress to which the joints are subjected.
Living with foot osteoarthritis: tips for daily living
Foot or ankle osteoarthritis can have a considerable impact on a patient’s quality-of-life. According to the intensity of the pain felt, mental health and social life can also sometimes be affected. However, it is not a fatality against which there is no point fighting. On the contrary, there are many solutions for improving the comfort of people with osteoarthritis: dietary advice, specific physical exercises, patient discussion groups, practical tips etc.