Arthritis Specialist

Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists -  - Podiatrist

Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Mission Viejo, CA & Laguna Hills, CA

More than 15% of people with osteoarthritis develop foot issues related to their disease, and 90% of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience foot problems early in the course of the disease. At Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists, with two offices in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills, California, the team of highly experienced podiatrists understands the toll arthritis can take on your feet and ankles. They offer proven treatments to slow the damage and restore your function. Call either office or book your appointment online today.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a joint disease that occurs in more than 100 different forms. It affects both large and small joints and may affect one or both sides of the body. Because arthritis attacks your joints, it often involves those within your feet and ankles. 

Arthritis commonly causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. If untreated, foot and ankle arthritis can affect your quality of life. But, Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists can diagnose and manage your disease to help you stay active and pain-free.

What types of arthritis affect the feet and ankles?

The most common kinds of arthritis in the lower extremities are:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative form of arthritis, is the most common form of the disease. It occurs when cartilage — the slick material that covers your bones — wears down. After cartilage loss, the bones in your joints rub together with no buffer, leading to pain. 

Osteoarthritis usually affects just one side of your body but may occasionally occur on both sides. The most common sites for osteoarthritis in the lower extremities include the main big toe joint, the midfoot, and the ankle.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory form of arthritis. It happens when your immune system attacks the synovium, the connective tissue lining the joint. This causes joint damage, weakens ligaments, and may lead to joint warping and pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs symmetrically, so if you have it in one foot, you'll also have it in the other. This type of arthritis commonly occurs in the small joints; it's common in the toes but can also affect larger joints like ankles. 

Gout

Gout is an inflammatory form of arthritis that develops when you have excessive uric acid in your body. The uric acid collects into crystals that lodge in your joints and cause pain. The main big toe joint is the most common site, but gout may occur in other joints like your ankles. 

The team at Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists can skillfully review your symptoms and conduct thorough diagnostic exams to determine what type of arthritis you have.

How is arthritis treated?

The team administers and prescribes disease-specific podiatry care for all types of arthritis in the feet and ankles. Your treatment may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Exercises to strengthen joints
  • Bracing
  • Regular exercise
  • Custom orthotics
  • Corticosteroid injections 
  • Dietary changes for gout

Arthritis often occurs alongside bunions, hammertoe, and flatfoot deformity. If you develop these issues, the team also prescribes effective solutions to restore your foot function. 

If you have an inflammatory form of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, you need to see a medical doctor (usually a rheumatologist) to address the underlying cause of the disease. The Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists team can effectively co-manage your care to make sure you're healthy from head to toe.

For compassionate arthritis care, call Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists or book an appointment online today.