Arthritis of the Foot

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Anthony Chesser, D.P.M.

Dr. Chesser discusses one area of practice in which he has a particular interest: Arthritis of the Foot.

It’s a complex ailment that can take on a number of different forms and affect people in different parts of the foot. Dr. Chesser explained that arthritic problems can occur in the forefoot, midfoot or the hindfoot – and each problem can be driven by different causes and show a variety of symptoms.

So, what are the range of symptoms?

“Typically for people that have arthritis pain, it’s usually a long-standing condition,” said Dr. Chesser. What might begin as a traumatic injury may lead to pain after trauma that just doesn’t go away. “This arthritis generally forms over years,” he continued. “Typically it’s achy soreness and people generally feel better when they start moving around.”

The time to see a doctor is when you’re going to bed with pain and waking up with pain and shying away from the things you want to do. “That’s when I tell you it’s time to come in and seek medical help,” said Dr. Chesser.

The first step Dr. Chesser recommends is to start with RICE principles (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation); also use compression devices to help immobilize the joint.  If that doesn’t work (or stops being effective), Dr. Chesser is able to step up the treatments to include localized steroid injections, anti-inflammatory prescriptions, etc.

More aggressive treatment may be necessary once conservative care stops working. These treatment options, usually surgical in nature are usually joint-sparing or joint-destructive procedures. The goal of the surgery is to prevent the pain-generator and have relatively high success rates.

How can you prevent foot problems? A lot of the foot pain suffered by people relates to the way they walk and the quality of shoes they wear. Some people are predisposed to foot problems because of their physical make-up.

According to Dr. Chesser, shoes make a big difference. When combined with appropriate health practices, good quality foot gear can go a long way to reducing foot problems in the future.

Listen to the entire 7-minute long Doc Talk podcast by clicking on the player embedded in this post.