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Arthritis & Joint Pain

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Arthritis Foot Pain

What is arthritis?

Over time and with increased levels of activity, our bones begin to lose their protective covering known as cartilage. When cartilage wears down, bones rub directly on each other resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling. This is less noticeable in the smaller joints but can be very uncomfortable when large joints like the Ankle or big toe are affected. If you are experiencing stiffness, swelling, or decreased range of motion in your ankle or big toe, you may be suffering from a common form of arthritis known as osteoarthritis.

At Renova, we stay up-to-date and informed on the latest proven procedures and modalities so that we can incorporate them into our practice and ensure that our patients get the best care available.

FAQ: Arthritis & Joint Pain

How do doctors diagnose patients with arthritis?

To determine whether or not you have arthritis, your doctor may ask about your medical history as well as your family’s history of arthritis. He will also examine your foot and ankle for swelling and redness and may take a sample of your joint fluid for testing. An X-ray, CT scan or MRI can also help correctly diagnose you with arthritis.

Are there non-surgical treatment options for arthritis?

Treatment options at Renova are directed at eliminating pain and discomfort. Arthritis can be treated non-surgically using medication and/or physical therapy. Various medications can be used depending on the type of arthritis you have. These include Analgesics, including acetaminophen, tramadol and prescription narcotics; NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and naproxen; Corticosteriods, including prednisone and cortisone; DMARDs (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) and Counterirritants—ointments that can be rubbed into the skin to prevent the transition of pain signals. Physical therapy for arthritis can help decrease your pain and increase your quality of life. Certain exercises may be used to strengthen joints and increase range of motion. A doctor may also use ultrasound or have patients apply ice packs or heating pads to treat localized pain. Custom braces and shoe inserts can also alleviate the pain from arthritis.

What surgical methods are used to treat arthritis?

Common surgical procedures include joint replacement and joint fusion. Joint replacement surgery involves removing a damaged joint or part of the joint and replacing it with a prosthetic one. To treat arthritis in smaller joints, a surgeon can perform joint fusion surgery. The surgery involves either a bone graft or an implant to fuse two bones together, making the joint more stable and capable of bearing weight.

Are there different types of arthritis?

There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the two most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease affecting around 33 million Americans. This type of arthritis is caused by long term wear and tear on joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints causing pain and swelling.

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