Tuesday, 18 October 2022 00:00

How Arthritis Can Affect the Feet and Ankles

Many types of arthritis can affect the small joints of the feet, ankles, and toes. These include osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is thought to be a wear and tear disease because it causes the cartilage in the joints to wear down from repeated stress over time. The bones lose their protective coverings and start to rub together leading to inflammation and pain. This type of arthritis mainly affects the first metatarsal joint (MTP), which connects the big toe to the foot. It can also impact the midfoot and ankle. RA is an autoimmune disease that involves multiple joints throughout the body. The immune system causes inflammation that attacks the synovium (lining of the joints) that cover joints and causes them to become swollen and painful. This type of arthritis often begins in the feet and ankles but can also affect the heels, midfoot, and forefoot. It is symmetrical, meaning it affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Repeated attacks can lead to bone, joint, ligament and tendon damage, eventually causing deformity or disability. Anyone with these or other types of arthritis can experience foot involvement and it can make it hard to walk and get through daily life. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatment options to slow down the progression of the disease and relieve symptoms. Please see a podiatrist for help if your arthritis is affecting your feet.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Houston Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.


  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Kingwood, Humble, The Woodlands, and Conroe, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

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