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Arthritis and Your Feet

  • Dr. Bruce Zappan
  • June 21, 2017

Joint diseases that cause stiffness, pain, and swelling can be particularly debilitating, especially when any of the more than thirty joints in each of your poor feet is affected. There are several common arthritic conditions that can have painful consequences for your feet.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)—This is actually an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own defense mechanisms mistake the lining of the joints for an intruder and proceed to attack. The resulting damage to joints is extremely painful and can contribute to debilitating deformities in the hands, fingers, and toes.
  • Trauma Induced Arthritis—This type of arthritis is most likely to follow an injury to a joint. In fact, it is much more likely that a previously injured or dislocated joint will suffer from the disease, sometimes many years after the initial injury.
  • Osteoarthritis—This is the arthritis that comes with plain old wear and tear from the rigors of living and aging on the feet. All that constant weight bearing and pounding of the joints in the feet and ankles eventually takes it’s toll and most people over fifty—some much younger— suffer to some degree from osteoarthritis.


Treatments for arthritis can include a variety of therapies from pain medication to surgery. Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the feet and ankles and increase joint flexibility and range of motion will be recommended. Your foot doctor may prescribe orthotic inserts and specially made shoes to decrease pressure on raging joints, and isolate foot deformities including bunions, hammertoes and claw toes.

If you are concerned that your arthritis is causing problems that you would like to have addressed, a foot specialist is uniquely qualified to perform all the necessary tests and exams.

For foot arthritis or any other problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, Bruce B. Zappan, D.P.M., P.C., of Medical Arts Podiatry Associates in Philadelphia, is an expert in proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our office at 215-563-2560.