Post-Traumatic Arthritis: How It Affects Feet

Post-Traumatic Arthritis: How It Affects Feet

Old injuries can come back to haunt you, and that's certainly the case with post-traumatic arthritis, which may develop after an injury to your foot or ankle. Fractures and dislocations that damage the surface of the joint are the most common injuries that lead to post-traumatic arthritis. An injured joint is more likely to develop arthritis, even if the injury is treated appropriately at the time.

Board-certified foot and ankle specialist David Biss, DPM, diagnoses and treats a full spectrum of foot and ankle conditions, including arthritis. Many people are unaware that arthritis not only can affect your feet, but it also can develop years after an injury. 

How does post-traumatic foot and ankle arthritis develop?

Post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) is a painful reminder from the past. It can happen many years after an injury to your foot or ankle. At the time of the injury, it may have been treated properly and you healed fully, but some time later, you may begin experiencing foot pain only to learn that you have arthritis where the injury occurred.

Arthritis is typically characterized by joint inflammation that tends to get worse with age. PTA is when your joints sustain wear-and-tear from a previous injury. PTA can be caused by any number of injuries to your foot and ankle, such as a sports injury.

Post-traumatic foot and ankle arthritis symptoms

The most common symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis are:

It's wise to schedule a visit with a podiatrist if you have these or other foot and ankle symptoms.

What part of the foot does arthritis affect?

PTA can affect any joint in the foot. Most commonly, it affects:

When arthritis affects these joints, it can cause significant pain and have a major impact on your mobility. 

Treating post-traumatic arthritis of the foot and ankle

Dr. Biss begins by recommending more conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Some changes to your daily life that may help alleviate pain from PTA include switching to lower impact activities and weight loss. Losing weight reduces stress on your joints, which helps to ease pain.

Physical therapy is also helpful. Specific exercises can help increase range of motion and flexibility, as well as improve strength in the muscles that support your foot and ankle. Other treatment options include orthotics and medication to reduce inflammation and pain.

When nonsurgical treatment fails to provide adequate relief, Dr. Biss may recommend surgery. 

Get the care you need

You don’t have to struggle with foot pain. If you notice persistent foot or ankle pain, we can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the root cause of your pain and create an individualized treatment plan. 

To get started, call the office convenient to you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Biss. Relief from chronic foot and ankle pain is possible. 

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