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Here’s How to Manage Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Need help managing foot and ankle arthritis? As we close out National Arthritis Awareness Month, we want to bring attention to the ways this disease affects your feet and ankles. Here’s what you need to know. Arthritis develops in joints when your cartilage breaks down. And, because your foot and ankle contain 35 joints, they’re vulnerable to arthritis. bunions could be why walking hurts

Now, while we can’t cure arthritis, we can help you manage your condition. And, as your Spring and Tomball, TX podiatrists, we can also offer pain relief for arthritis in your feet and ankles. Just ask our patient Debra B., who recently shared her experience treating arthritis at Louetta Foot & Ankle Associates!

She says: “By the time I found the courage to have something done with my feet, I literally couldn’t wear a closed shoe. What I thought were bunions, turned out to be degenerative arthritis–and I had been in excruciating pain with both feet for the last several years.

Having my feet cut on was my greatest fear–I had heard all the horror stories. The day that I had my initial consultation with Dr. Bachmann, I literally broke down in tears–I was that terrified to have surgery but was at a point where I was being forced to do something. I should also add that I spent countless hours looking at podiatrists–so deciding on Louetta Foot & Ankle was not a choice made without an exhaustive search. I could have saved every minute that I spent debating on who I could trust with my feet. To make a long story not quite as long–there truly is NO other Dr. or staff that would have treated me with more compassion, patience and flexibility.”

Surgery for Arthritis at Louetta Foot and Ankle Associates

In her online review, Debra B. continued. “The entire group at Louetta Foot & Ankle are extremely professional and function like a well-oiled machine, but they are also like a family–the perfect mix. And all of them became like family to me–literally there isn’t a bad apple in the bunch. The resulting surgery involved a “fusion” on my right foot which was more extensive, the left I had caught in time to do a Cheilectomy, more of a “clean up”.

When I saw Dr. Bachmann and the group for my final follow-up, I cried again and once in a while, when I look at my feet, I still get emotional. These tears though, are because I am so grateful to the entire group at Louetta Foot & Ankle–I have no pain and can hardly tell that I had anything done. It’s just amazing. Trust me–if you’re looking for the right place, you cannot go wrong here. Just do it–you’ll be thankful that you did!”

Now, helping our patients walk without pain is our greatest pleasure. But we also want you to understand arthritis and your treatment options. That’s why, today, we’ll review the signs of arthritis, the risk factors and the ways we can help you find pain relief.”

Signs of Arthritis in the Foot or Ankle

If you’ve developed foot or ankle arthritis, you may notice:

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Instability when you walk or run

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should come into our office right away. When you come in, we’ll review your medical history. Then, after performing a physical exam, we can take in-office x-rays. Once we read your films, we can diagnose your arthritis and determine the extent of your disease progression.

Treatment Options for Arthritis Pain

If your arthritis pain is mild, we may manage your discomfort and inflammation with over-the-counter medications like Aspirin. Rest, limiting your activities, steroid injections and stabilizing braces can also help you manage your arthritis.

But if your arthritis is more advanced, surgeries like the ones we performed on Debra B. can offer pain relief. Plus, they can help you return to your normal daily activities. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, you have two surgical options when it comes to treating ankle arthritis,

  1. Ankle Fusion

With this surgery, we remove cartilage around your ankle joint and attach your leg bone to your foot bone, using plates and screws for the fusion. This surgery prevents any motion in your ankle, so it is a drastic option. But it also gets rid of the pain when you move.

  1. Total Ankle Replacement

Instead of eliminating your ankle movement, this surgery takes out your damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. With this surgery, your ankle retains its ability to move. Only now, it does so without pain.

As we said before, your arthritis treatment options depend on the extent of your joint damage. For that reason, we encourage you to come into the office at the first sign of arthritis symptoms in your foot or ankle. So schedule your appointment today and we’ll help you walk more comfortably tomorrow.