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What is Arthritis in the foot or ankle?

There are four distinct types of arthritis in foot regions: 

  1. Osteoarthritis – A degenerative disease, often called ‘wear and tear’ arthritis.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis – This type is autoimmune in nature; the body’s immune system attacks the muscles and synovial joints in the ankle and foot.
  3. Post-traumatic arthritis – It can develop as a result of trauma to the foot or ankle.
  4. Gout – It develops as a result of the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints.

Joints most prone to arthritis in lower limbs include:

Ankle joint (composed of Talus, Fibula, and Tibia joint)

Joints of the rear foot (talonavicular joint, talocalcaneal or subtalar joint, calcaneocuboid joint)

The great toe

The midfoot

Signs of arthritis are often stiffness in the joint, a feeling of heat that is localized, inflammation, pain, difficulty in movement, limited range of motion


Treatment for Arthritis in the foot or ankle

Depending on the type, severity and location, treatment will differ for everyone. General examples are as follows:

Analgesic anti-inflammatory medicines to be taken orally

For acute phase, steroid medication (in form of injection)

For chronic phase, regenerative medication (in form of injection)

Customized shoes, padding, strapping, and orthotics

Use of support with walking, such as a walking cane


Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)

Nutritional or weight control supplementation


Surgery is only needed if conservative treatments fail. Depending on your condition and under co-care of your GP, our podiatrist will provide the treatment steps for you. Before attempting any treatment, check with your podiatrist first to assess and provide advice.