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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. Cartilage is found between the ends of bones that form a joint. It acts as a protective cover and cushion within the joint which can gradually wear down. This is due to mechanical wear-and-tear on the joints of the foot.

What causes it?

Causes may include: injury, a history of fracture, multiple ankle sprains, trauma, flat feet or high arches, abnormal foot alignment or function, history of infection, systemic conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the symptoms?

  • Discomfort and stiffness of the area.
  • Swelling around the joint.
  • Redness around the joint.
  • A reduction in range of motion within the joint.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • You may also have bone spurs around the joint.

What treatments are available?

There are 26 bones and 30 joints in the foot. There are many common joints which are affected by osteoarthritis in the foot and treatment may include:

  • None Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen to relive pain or swelling.
  • Analgesics such as paracetamol to relive pain.
  • Orthotics (Shoe inserts) to support the abnormal foot function or provide cushioning to the structure of your foot.
  • Footwear advice or Custom made footwear (Orthotist)
  • Padding or Strapping
  • Physical therapy or exercise (to improve the range of motion and mobility)
  • Steroid injections (to provide an anti-inflammatory affect)
  • Dietary supplements such as glucosamine.
  • Further investigations may be requested such as X –Ray or MRI.
  • If none-surgical options fail to relive your symptoms there are many surgical options available.

How can we help?

Your Podiatrist will determine the diagnosis in the initial assessment. At the end of the assessment you will be provide with a short, medium and long term treatment plan specific to your symptoms.

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