WHICH JOINTS ARE AFFECTED?
The Big-Toe Joint
When arthtritis affects your big toe, your foot hurts when it pushes off the ground. Arthritis often appears in the big-toe joint along with a bunion (a bony bump at the side of the joint).
When arthritis affects the rear or midfoot joints, you feel pain when you put weight on your foot. Arthritis may affect the joint where the ankle and foot meet. It may also affect other joints nearby.
If your symptoms are mild, medications may be enough to reduce pain and swelling. For more severe arthritis, surgery may be needed to improve the condition of the joint.
Your doctor may prescribe medication –pills or injections- to limit pain and swelling. Ice, aspirin, or ibuprofen may help relieve mild symptoms that occur after activity.
To easy movement and reduce pain, your doctor may trim damaged bone. If arthritis is severe, the joint may be fused or removed.
If the bone is not damaged too badly, your doctor may simply shave away bone spurs. Any excess bone growth related to a bunion may also be trimmed.
If damage is more severe, your doctor may fuse the joint to prevent the bones from rubbing. Afterward, staples or screws may hold the bones in place so they heal properly. In some cases,the joint may be fused or replaced with an implant.