The onset of arthritis takes a major toll on the feet and ankles of the patient. Listed here are the various feet and ankle related issues brought on by arthritis and the common types of surgeries to correct them.
Bony protrusions on the sides of the foot or under the big toe are generally referred to as ‘bunions’. Medically, this condition is known as hallux valgus or hallux rigidus, depending upon the type of arthritis that has caused the bunion. Usually, it is corrected by straightening the big toe or removing the protrusion, surgically. Hallux valgus is known to deform other toes as well, causing them to become clawed. This condition is referred to as ‘hammer toes’. Arthroplasty and arthrodesis are treatment procedures. Further, arthritis can cause ‘dislocation of metatarsophalangeal joints’ (small joints) in the feet. Surgery usually enables the patient to walk comfortably.
In cases of ‘ankle arthritis’, osteoarthritis is usually the culprit. The cartilage covering the ankle bone wears out, and the bone itself becomes thick and painful. This problem can be solved by ankle fusion, triple fusion, or ankle replacement. The ‘Achilles tendon disorder’, which is a heel-related issue, causes the Achilles tendon to wear out, leading to painful swellings where the tendon joins the heel bone. ‘Morton’s neuroma’ damages the nerves that reach the third and fourth toes, and can be treated surgically with ease. ‘Tibialis posterior dysfunction’ is caused by inflammation of the instep arch of the foot, and ‘plantar fasciitis’ is caused by inflammation of the area where the fascia joins the heel. These, too, can be corrected surgically, if timely action is taken.