Arthritis in Feet, Ankles & Toes
Arthritis is a disease that is characterised by the inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the body’s joints, causing inflammation, stiffness pain and swelling. It's often an inherited condition, though bacterial and viral infections, prescription and illegal drug use, and traumatic injuries may also be contributing factors. There are many specific forms of arthritis affecting the toes, feet and ankles as each foot has 33 joints susceptible to the disease.
One of the most common forms of arthritis affecting the ankle is osteoarthritis, which causes excessive strain and the wearing away of cartilage in the joints of the foot. It becomes very difficult and painful for sufferers to move, with the pain and swelling worsening while standing or walking. Even after periods of rest, stiffness often increases. Problems may develop in the heel and ankle area due to joint erosion
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can develop at any age and there's no known cause for this condition. Rheumatoid arthritis may result in severed deformities of the joints and may develop conditions such as bunions, hammer toe and claw toe.
Arthritis in Toes (Gout)
More common in men than women, gout is another form of arthritis that may leads to foot complications, as excess uric acid crystals collect in and around the joints of the big toe. The big toe is most commonly affected due to the stress it's placed under during weight-bearing exercise.