Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog
Posts for: April, 2018
Are your joints stiff as you arise from bed in the morning? Do they follow the tune of the old Rice Krispies commercial with a snap, crackle and pop? Are they tender to the touch or ache with movement? If you can relate to any of this, chances are you have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of Arthritis and can affect the foot and ankle.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is more commonly encountered as a person ages. For the most part, it is a progressive disease due to wear and tear on the joints over the years. The cartilage, or the cushion between the bones, is eventually lost causing the bones to wear against one another. This then leads to the common symptoms of inflammation, pain, stiffness and furthermore, loss of function and deformity.
The most common joints affected in the foot include the ankle joint, the joint below the ankle joint, the big toe joint and the little toe joints. Clearly this can be debilitating considering we use our feet day in and day out. Numerous options are available to help with osteoarthritis from a Podiatrist’s stand point. Please let us assist you in getting you back on your feet so you can give Kellog’s their Rice Krispies jingle back.
Most people have seen commercials advertising different medications for psoriasis. You know, the commercials where people try to hide patches on their skin that cause them embarrassment. Well, psoriatic Arthritis is often preceded by psoriasis, the skin condition that forms inflamed patches of skin with scales that become visually unpleasing and uncomfortable for people. Psoriatic arthritis is another form of arthritis that can affect the feet.
Aside from the skin condition, psoriatic arthritis can resemble rheumatoid arthritis. This type of arthritis more commonly affects the toe joints creating them to become painful, warm and swollen (resembling sausage toes). If left untreated it can cause significant joint damage. Psoriatic arthritis is also known for causing pain where tendons and ligaments insert such as the plantar fascia on the bottom, resembling plantar fasciitis of the foot or the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can also affect your nails and toenails causing them to flake and pit.
Your rheumatologist can help you manage this condition with medications, but your Podiatrist can help you keep your feet feeling as comfortable as possible with different shoe gear & insert options, injections, and surgical procedures. If your feet are suffering from psoriatic arthritis, please call Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic to schedule an Appointment.
Awoken in the middle of the night you are greeted by an exquisitely painful big toe and redness with swelling and warmth to accompany it. You don’t recall any injury that day and are wondering how this just came about out of the blue. If this is the first time you have experienced this, you will likely schedule an appointment to see your doctor to see what could be afflicting your great toe. If this is not your first time, this is an all too familiar pain and you know that what you are dealing with is gout.
Gout is a type of Arthritis caused by urate crystals that deposit in joints and cause a painful inflammatory reaction. Gout occurs for one of two reasons with the first being the body produces too much uric acid which is a byproduct of purines, a substance in the body that can also be found in certain foods. The second reason is that the kidneys don’t properly eliminate the uric acid causing it to build up in the body.
Gout that goes untreated can lead to joint damage. It can also lead to deposits in the skin called tophi. Tophi are a buildup of gouty crystals. Tophi can be found in numerous places including fingers, elbows, feet and the Achilles tendon.
There are certain risk factors that increase your chance of developing a gouty attack. These include;
1. A diet rich in meat, seafood & alcohol.
2. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes.
3. Medications, such as aspirin or blood pressure medications.
4. A recent trauma or surgery increases the risk of developing gout.
5. Genetics. A family history of gout increases your chances of developing a gouty attack.
6. Men are more likely to develop gout attacks, though the chance for women increases after menopause.
Numerous measures can be taken at home to avoid gout including maintaining a healthy weight, watching your diet, and drinking plenty of water. There are also medications that can help treat the acute gouty attack, but also help prevent them in the future. If you think you may be dealing with gout, Contact Us here at Dakota Foot & Ankle to schedule an appointment for further diagnosis and treatment.