Arthritic Conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Updated 8/21/2018
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis, also known as “RA” is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues instead of attacking foreign cells such as viruses and bacteria.

 

RA is a chronic disease that currently cannot be cured.  Evidence shows that early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to put the disease into remission is the best means of avoiding joint destruction, organ damage and disability.

 

University Foot and Ankle Institute podiatrists, surgeons and physical therapists are the very best rheumatoid foot and ankle arthritis specialists in California with a national reputation and a decades long history of research and development in the disease.

Most people with Rheumatoid Arthritis experience intermittent bouts of intense disease activity, called flares. In some people these flares are continuously active while others enjoy long periods of remission.

RA specifically affects the synovium, a thin membrane that lines the joints. As a result of the attack, fluid builds up in the joints, causing pain and inflammation that can occur throughout the body.

 

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Foot and Ankle

Rheumatoid Arthritis - University Foot and Ankle Institute

Forefoot Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid forefoot issues are often a very debilitating and painful condition for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The pain is essentially due to early inflammation, cartilage damage, arthritis and dislocation of the toes at the metatarsal heads.

 

If rheumatoid forefoot deformity is caught early, correction of the toe position and realignment procedures can save the joints and decrease the risk of dislocation and arthritis. If left untreated, rheumatoid forefoot arthritis surgery is usually treated with a removal of the metatarsal heads and realignment of the toes.

 

Hindfoot Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis of the hindfoot results in painful loss of cartilage and usually deformity of the joints. If rheumatoid arthritis is caught early, bracing and orthotic therapy can be used to delay the rheumatoid arthritis process and limit progression of ankle deformity.

 

If severe rheumatoid arthritis is noted, fusion of the arthritic joints can eliminate pain and resolve a majority of the ankle deformity. Although the procedures are quite difficult due to the softness of the bone, University Foot and Ankle Institute has extensive rheumatoid arthritis treatment experience of these difficult and debilitating problems.

 

Ankle Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle results in painful loss of cartilage and usually deformity of the joint. If caught early orthotic therapy and bracing can be used to delay the arthritis process and limit the progression of deformity in the ankle. Lubrication injections can also delay the progress of the rheumatoid ankle arthritis and relieve pain.

 

In cases of severe rheumatoid ankle arthritis, fusion or ankle replacement procedures may be an appropriate option to resolve a majority of the ankle deformity and eliminate pain.

 

UFAI Physicians Are Leaders in the Treatment of Foot and Ankle Rheumatoid Arthritis

University Foot and Ankle Institute podiatrists, surgeons and physical therapists are the very best rheumatoid foot and ankle arthritis specialists in California with a national reputation and a long history of research and development in the disease. Request an appointment with a doctor at our Los Angeles or other Southern California offices to get help with your foot and ankle RA today.

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