Arthritis is an extremely common pathology encountered and as we mature becomes more frequent for us as individuals. Most people will experience what is called post-traumatic arthritis or arthritis that occurs years after an injury. An example of this is, if you had fractured or broken your ankle you may develop arthritis in that ankle in years to come. Arthritis usually starts with pain and swelling of a joint that progressively becomes more uncomfortable, especially with activities. Another example we see a lot of is, arthritis of the big toe or 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint. Patients often relate a history of stubbing the big toe or having a turf toe type injury. Another less common form of arthritis is Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is where your body’s own immune cells attack your cartilage and destroy these cells causing arthritis.
Arthritis in general is the loss of cartilage within a joint. Cartilage is on the ends of bones and where two bones meet and define a joint, each bone will have cartilage on opposing surfaces to allow joints to move smoothly. When that cartilage begins to wear away that is when pain and swelling take place. Some over the counter options that seem to help are fish oil and glucosamine. Others swear by turmeric or tart cherry juice. It is best to have your arthritis evaluated and make sure that is truly the cause of pain. An x-ray is usually sufficient to determine if arthritis is the cause and to discuss the best treatment options. Some of the best treatment options I have seen to help provide relief and spare long term joint destruction are Supartz and Platelet Rich Plasma or Stem Cell Therapy. Supartz is an artificial joint fluid that helps lubricate the joints and has had some great research to support the use. Platlet Rich Plasma or Stem Cell Therapy has come to light recently but seems to be promising. We have been using these therapies for years and have used themon thousands of patients. If you suffer from arthritis in the foot or ankle and would like to be evaluated for these options come see us at Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists.
Call us at 425-391-8666 or visit us online to make an appointment today.