What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic disease that attacks multiple joints throughout the body. About 90 percent of people with RA eventually develop symptoms related to the foot or ankle. Usually symptoms appear in the toes and forefeet first, then in the middle and back of the foot, and finally in the ankles. Other inflammatory types of arthritis that affect the foot and ankle include gout, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and Reiter''s immune system turns against itself. Instead of protecting the joints, the body produces substances that attack and inflame the joints.
The most common symptoms of RA in the foot are pain, swelling, and stiffness. Symptoms usually appear in several joints on both feet. You may feel pain in the joint or in the sole or ball of your foot. The joint may be warm and affect the way you walk. You may develop corns or bunions, and your toes can begin to curl and stiffen in positions called claw toes or hammertoes.
If your hindfoot (back of the foot) and ankle are affected, the bones may shift position. This can cause the arch on the bottom of your foot to collapse (flat foot), resulting in pain and difficulty walking.
Because RA affects your entire system, you may also feel feverish, tire easily and lose your appetite. You may develop lumps near your joints, particularly around the elbow.
Sometimes arthritis symptoms in the foot are the first indication that you the 1 last update 2020/07/07 have RA. Your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon will ask you about your medical history, occupation and recreational activities, as well as any other persistent or previous conditions in your feet and legs. The appearance of symptoms in the same joint on both feet or in several joints is an indication that RA might be involved.Sometimes arthritis symptoms in the foot are the first indication that you have RA. Your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon will ask you about your medical history, occupation and recreational activities, as well as any other persistent or previous conditions in your feet and legs. The appearance of symptoms in the same joint on both feet or in several joints is an indication that RA might be involved.
Your surgeon also will request X-rays to see how much damage there is to the joints. Blood tests will show whether you are anemic or have an antibody called the rheumatoid factor, which often is present with RA. If you''t be able to put all your weight on your foot for several weeks, and you may need to wear a special shoe or a cast for several months.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for It may take six to 12 months after surgery to resume regular activities.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for
RA is a progressive disease that currently has no cure. However, medications, exercises and surgery can help lessen the effects of the disease and may slow its progression.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Risks and Complications
As in all surgeries, there is some risk. Infections, failure for the fusion to heal and loosening of the hardware are the most common problems. Intravenous antibiotics and/or repeat surgery may be needed. Severe complications may require amputation, but this is rare.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images, and graphics, is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments. If you need medical advice, use the ""/find-a-surgeon"" search to locate a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.