Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog
Posts for tag: Arthritis
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.
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.
Types and Symptoms of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis- This is the most common form and generally has a gradual onset. Sufferers generally feel muscle weakness and deterioration, breakdown in cartilage, and possible bone spurs. This form comes with pain that can also progress but can also be relieved with rest. Osteoarthritis is a problem in feet when people are overweight due to the amount of pressure on the many joints in the foot.
Rheumatoid Arthritis- This form is a major crippling disorder and the most serious of the forms of arthritis. This systematically affects more than a dozen smaller joints during its course. Sufferers generally feel stiffness, fatigue, and weight-loss. Women are 3 times more likely to be affected then men. Rheumatoid Arthritis can alternate between periods of remission and exacerbation, it can be active for months or years then stop, sometimes permanently.
Gout Arthritis- This usually affects a single big toe joint and is extremely painful. Men are more affected then women. Heredity, as well as diet, dehydration, and water pills/fluid retention can be factors and can affect those suffering from this form of arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis- This form only shows up in 1 in 20 psoriasis patients. It mildly affects only a few joints usually the ends of fingers and toes. Psoriasis affects the skin, and in severe cases it can affect the joints. As the skin worsens so does this form of arthritis.
If have any questions or feel that you are suffering from any of these symptoms of Arthritis please Contact Us at Dakota Foot and Ankle Clinic today to schedule your appointment withDr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS in Bismarck or Hazen, North Dakota today. 701-255-3338.
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What is Arthritis and what causes it?
Arthritis is the inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, generally accompanied by an increase in the fluid in the joints.
This can be a disabling and occasionally crippling disease. Arthritis can occur at any age but is most common in people over 50 years of age.
It may seem that the foot is more susceptible to Arthritis; this is because the foot has 33 joints that can become affected.
There are several causes of Arthritis besides heredity:
- Injury from sports or industrial work (mostly those that have been ignored)
- Bacterial and viral infections that strike the joints (pneumonia, staph infections, and lyme disease)
- Bowel disorders (colitis and ileitis) usually result in arthritic conditions in the joints of the ankles and toes
Arthritic feet can result in loss of mobility and independence, but early diagnosis and proper medical care can help significantly.
Many patients that seeDr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS have previously been told "there isn't anything that can be done for Arthritis in the foot or ankle." This is not true. Dr. Gale will be able to give you different options to help with your symptoms including: proper shoes, insoles, orthotics, ankle braces, or injections.
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