Arthritis affects many joints in the body and can be particularly painful in the foot. As arthritic disease advances in the joints, many people notice that their joints change in appearance.
SYMPTOMS Joint inflammation starts in the lining of the joints, called the capsule. These capsules can become inflamed, filled with fluid and become painful. Eventually the cartilage lining of the joint begins to wear out, causing the bone to rub on bone, leading to painful arthritis.
Deformities of this type are common in the front of the foot and are characterized by:
• Painful swelling • Difficulty walking • Reduced foot function • Clawing of the toes • Big toe becomes turned outward • Tenderness with compression of the joints • Formation of bunions • Hammer Toe
TREATMENT The course of action depends on what part of the foot is affected by the deformity. Sometimes it is enough to manage the pain and concentrate on reducing the swelling. Other deformities may continue to get worse over time and may require surgical intervention.