Arthritis, in general terms, is an inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, generally accompanied by an increase in the fluid in the joints. Arthritis can have multiple causes including injury, autoimmune disease, and certain infections.
There are different forms of arthritis. The most common forms include: traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
What we can do to help you with your ankle pain
If your arthritis is painful and doesn’t seem to be improving, we would recommend that we see you as a patient.
Initially, we will perform a complete history and physical examination of your ankle to determine the cause and the degree of injury. We will assess your ankle joint to look for any signs of instability that may need to be addressed. We will take digital x-rays to look for subtle signs of bone or cartilage injury.
For arthritis, our main objectives are controlling inflammation, preserving joint function (or restoring it if it has been lost), and curing the disease if possible. We will take time to educate you on the cause of your arthritis. We will suggest proper shoe gear to help reduce some of your symptoms. We also will help to educate you on activities that may contribute to your pain. Prescription oral anti-inflammatory medication or topical anti-inflammatory cream may be used to reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis. Cortisone injections are also sometimes used to reduce swelling.
If you have arthritis, it may be helpful for us to fit you with the proper arch support or prescription orthotics. If your symptoms are mild, we may be able to use a pre-made arch support to control any abnormal flattening of your arch. We carry arch supports in our office that are typically much better than what you will find in the store. Some cases of arthritis are more severe and may require the use of a prescription orthotic. This is a custom-made arch support that is made from a plaster impression or digital scan of your foot and arch. Unlike pre-made arch supports, however, an orthotic completely controls abnormal pronation, stabilizes the foot and ankle and most effectively removes strain to the joints. Learn more about custom orthotics.
Surgical intervention sometimes is needed for arthritis. Removal of any associated spurring surrounding the joint can be very helpful in some cases. It is sometimes preferable to perform an arthrodesis or fusion of a painful joint rather than try to fight the inflammation associated with the disease.
The doctors at Council Bluffs Foot & Ankle Care are experts in the treatment of all forms of arthritis. If you have pain, call us today to make an appointment.