Arthritis of the foot or ankle is a result of the cartilage wearing down, which causes a rough bone-on-bone joint. Think of it as a 'wear and tear' item within your body, and can happen to virtually every joint in the body. Symptoms usually involve a generalized ache with activity, and may correlate with weather changes (tends to be affected depending on the changes in barometric pressure). Other may experience a more dramatic and sharper pain which tends to keep people from doing the activities that they desire. Arthritis is typically caused by either natural aging (a gradual onset, getting progressively worse), or by a traumatic event (sudden onset by injury). In some other cases, the arthritis may be caused by an underlying autoimmune disease (Rheumatoid, Psoriasis, etc). Gout may be another cause of arthritis.
Treatment begins conservatively, in most cases with a set of X-rays involving the affected joint or joints. Other methods include the use of supports with additional modifications, injections, bracing, or NSAIDs to name a few. Of course, each patient will be tailored in treatment according to their needs. In some cases, surgery may be an option to either clean out, replace, or fuse (lock) the joint.
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