Living with the burning, throbbing pain of arthritis has a significant impact on the quality of life for anyone suffering from this disease. If you have arthritis in your feet, ankles, or toes, Tim McConn, DPM, can help. Dr. McConn has offices in Midtown Tulsa, South Tulsa, and Owasso, Oklahoma, where he uses the most advanced treatments and latest techniques to bring relief to patients with arthritic conditions like osteoarthritis and gout. Call the location nearest you today to schedule a consultation or use the online form to book an appointment.

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What is arthritis in the foot and ankle?

Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that takes many forms. The areas most commonly affect in the foot and ankle are: Midfoot arthritis, Great toe joint arthritis, and Ankle Arthritis

Midfoot Arthritis

Arthritis in the midfoot is very common in patients with high arches.  There may be associated prominent areas on the top of the foot that are painful. Pain tends to increase with higher levels of activity that gets worse throughout the day. Due to swelling around the small midfoot joints as well as changes to the cartilage, midfoot arthritis becomes a progressive condition that gets worse with time.

Great Toe Joint Arthritis

Arthritis in the great toe is one of the most common arthritic conditions seen in the foot and ankle.  It is often associated with both “wear and tear” as well as prior injury.  Overtime the joint loses cartilage, develops bone spurs, and becomes more pain with range of motion.  Four stages are used to define great toe joint arthritis with a higher stage being designated for further progressed arthritic conditions. Treatment options vary depending on the stage so patients are encouraged to be evaluated as soon as possible.

Ankle Joint Arthritis

Another common condition is ankle joint arthritis.  Arthritis in then ankle stems from two condtions, trauma and ankle instability.  Patients who have experience ankle fractures are likely to develop post traumatic arthritis sometimes leading to significant pain and disability.  Also, patients with ankle instability/frequent ankle sprains may develop arthritis over time. Arthritis of the ankle is a progressive condition leading to pain, limitations, and decreased quality of life.

How is arthritis treated?

Dr. McConn prepares a personalized treatment plan for you based on your condition and factors like your age, other health problems, and the severity of your arthritis.

Treatment options that might be in your plan include:

  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Supportive pads
  • Orthotic insoles
  • Leg braces
  • Custom shoes
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle advice
  • Steroid injections into the joints
  • Colchicine medication (for gout)
  • Regenerative medicine

Most patients who receive these conservative treatments find their symptoms improve. For others, conservative approaches don’t provide sufficient relief. As arthritis worsens over time, eventually, you might not benefit from these treatments even if they worked before.

If these treatments aren’t working, Dr. McConn can discuss surgical options with you.

What surgical options are there for arthritis?

Ankle Arthritis

Total joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) versus joint fusion are very affective and definitive procedures once a patient has failed conservative management. Based on your condition, goals, and level of activity a total ankle joint replacement or fusion may be the best option for you.

Great Toe Joint Arthritis

Depeding on the stage of the arthritis, various treatment options are available including cheilectomy or other joint salvage procedures.  For later stages fusion surgery (arthrodesis) is one approach, where Dr. McConn surgically joins the affected bones together, so they can no longer cause pain and discomfort.

Midfoot Arthritis

Arthritis in the midfoot can be managed with minimally invasive surgery or fusion surgery depending on the severity, foot type, and patients’ limitations. Injecting the midfoot bones with bone cement (subchondroplasty) can provide a minimally invasive approach that relieves much of the arthritis pain; however, further progressed conditions will require fusion of the midfoot joints.

To find out more about arthritis treatments, call Tim McConn, DPM, today or book an appointment online.