Arthritis of the feet explained by Panama City Podiatrist
Authored by Dr. Burton S. Schuler
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Almost everyday a patient will ask me Doc, do I have arthritis in my feet ?. My answer is, if you can remember the Ed Sullivan Show on television, you most probably have some arthritis in your feet, or somewhere else in your body The fact is if your are about 40-50 you got it or are most likely getting it. Most of the foot problems that I treat daily are due to one form of arthritis or another. And it is a safe bet that the most spoken medical term by doctors, in this country today will be arthritis. Billions and Billions are spent on treating it every year, yet we still suffer with it.
WHAT IS ARTHRITIS
According to the Arthritis Foundation there are over one hundred types of Arthritis. Arthritis are conditions that affect the joints and the soft tissue around the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthtitis and is due to excessive stress and strain, or just plain old wear and tear on the joints of the foot A joint is where two bones meet. In the foot as in the body Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the type of arthritis that effects the joints . A bunion is a form of osteoarthritis. But there is another type of arthritis that is more common in the foot; that does not attack the joints. These arthtitis are inflammatory conditions that effect the soft tissue and not the joints (bone) and are they are called non articulating arthritis. Such arthritis’s of the foot and body are
are very common foot problems that I, and most Podiatrist treat everyday. .
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most crippling form of arthritis. It not only affects the joints like osteoarthritis, but also can cause severe deformities of the joints, with an associated weakness and fatigue of the whole body. Its causes are presently unknown. Other causes of arthritis include physical injury, obesity, poor shoes, and Gout.
These conditions can cause as much pain as arthritis of the joints, and can appear either along or with arthritis involving the joints. Swelling of the feet and ankles is also very common with these problems.
The most common self-treatment in the early stages of arthritis or its cousins is aspirin, or some of the other over the counter pain medications. If these foot conditions don’t respond to such treatment, it is time to consult a podiatrist who will compile a careful medical history and perform a detailed examination of the foot. X-rays are normally taken to determine the extent of the problem.
Arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, tenosynovitis, capsulitis, and synovitis are some of the most common problem seen by podiatrist. The good news is that these problems are very treatable with the use of stress-free Physical Therapy, and padding and strappings that remove the abnormal stress and strains on the foot, caused by the Morton’s Toe which is the real reason of the arthritis in many cases. We also do this with Orthotics.
WHAT CAUSES ARTHRITIS IN THE FEET
Well like most of the other problems in this book it is caused by abnormal stress and strain put upon the joints and other soft tissue structures of the feet. If your foot is constantly being abused on a day in day out basis due to a Mortons Toe, or other foot problems, soon or later changes in these joints and other soft tissue structures will end up giving you some form of arthritis. Again this does not happen early in life but later on. One of the most common places for arthritis in the foot, is at the big toe joint. This joint is called the first metatarsal ‑phalange joint, and is where the first metatarsal bone connects with the big toe. This makes senses because if you have a short, or hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone , the big toe joint is taking a tremendous amount of abnormal stress and strain. The arthritis caused by this stress and strain can cause decrease motion at the great toe joint with a great deal of pain and swelling resulting.
THE 75 CENT PAD OR THE $7500.00 SURGERY
During my Career I have seen many different surgeries to repair the damage done by arthritis to the big toe joint. Most of them had marginal result, with nothing to write home about. Like most doctor I am called upon by representatives of drug companies or medical equipment company. Not to long ago a nice chap from one of these equipment company came to see me. He was there to tell me about a new surgical device, and surgery to repair the damage done to the big toe joint due to arthritis of the joint. He played a CD that showed the surgery and his new device. The surgery removed the old destroyed cartilage* at the head of the first metatarsal bone and replaced it with a state of the art titanium coated implant in its place. It was great!, It was wonderful! I really think this implant and surgery is going to work and help a lot of people. I told the representative what I thought and he seemed very pleased. He then invited me to a hands on workshop to learn how to do the surgery. I thanked him for the invitation but told him my philosophy of practice was geared toward preventing problems so surgeries were not necessary. You see I told him, if the patient in the CD had a simple little pad put under his first metatarsal bone as recently as lets say three to five years ago, the arthritis that destroyed is big toe joint probably wont have happened, or at worst would have been more manageable . He looked blankly at me and said I didnt know that. I said yeah I know. I get that a lot. Again, I told him he I thought he had a winner with this new device, but only time would tell. But make sure that after the surgery all of the patients get Toe Pads to treat the underlying real problem of the Morton’s Toe . If they don’t the surgery can fail.
The point of this story is this. It is marvelous we have these new surgeries and devices to repair these serious conditions. But, if the patient in the CD or their doctor knew about the work of Dudley Morton, that patient would not have never been in the CD to start with.
Many things can cause arthritis in the feet but either directly or indirectly, it is caused a great deal of the time by Morton’s Toe , Long Second Toe. If your foot is constantly being abused on a day-in day-out basis due to a Morton’s Toe or other foot problems, sooner or later the damage to these joints and other soft tissue structures will end up giving you some form of arthritis and swelling. These conditions can cause as much pain as arthritis, and can appear either along with arthritis, or by themselves. Glucosamine is a very popular treatment.
Here is a youtube video about plantar fasciitis a very common form of arthritis.