Arthritis symptoms, diagnosis and cureHealth and Disease information

Arthritis in the foot (big toe) || What it feels like & why it happens

the foot is an amazing structure are made up of 28 bones and more than 30 joints unfortunately any of which can be affected by arthritis arthritis simply put is the wear of the normal lining or cartilage of the joint and can occur in any or multiple joints around the foot and ankle in most people there is no definitive cause and probably relates the enormous stresses across the joint even when walking for example the big toe has a force equal to put twice your bodyweight passing through it every step and it’s an extremely small joint add to that the stresses during exercise or when carrying extra weight and the forces can be extremely high and therefore after years of repetitive impact cartilage may eventually fail and develop arthritis in some people however the cause can be defined and may relate to an injury or another medical problem such as a rheumatoid arthritis gout or an infection in the joint I would like to focus on big toe arthritis or hallux rigidus which simply can be translated into big toe stiffness interestingly the wear of the cartilage can affect the whole joint but often only affects the upper part of the joint the most common problem is pain this can range from occasional and only after stressful impact exercise pain to pain at rest or during the night in others it only occurs when they turn the big toe up as far as it will go stiffness is also a common problem and can prevent the joint for moving upwards or less commonly downwards a bony bump or osteophyte may develop on top of the joint this is your body’s natural response to the worn joint and may rub on shoes in some people this is their only problem [Music] treatment can focus on several strategies the first question I often get asked is is there anything that can be done to prevent deterioration simply having a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit and active is important wear sensible shoes to prevent rubbing and irritation and keep at a healthy weight as more pressure you put through an arthritic joint the more pain you are likely to get once it is established the initial treatments are about managing the condition and include modifying your activities or lifestyle painkillers as you require or simply a rigid sold shoe that so that the toe doesn’t Bend and cause pain if these simple measures fail then an injection most often of local anesthetic and steroid may be helpful although is rarely long-lasting for those that continue to have problems there are several options available depending on the pain and extent of the arthritis if the pain simply comes from the bony bump or from the upper part of the joint then removing these parts of the joint can improve and even resolve the problem permanently although some need further surgery this can either be done through an open approach or through small incisions depending on the nature of the lump if the whole joint is involved then the procedure of choice is a fusion operation which permanece stiffens the joint and can relieve pain in up to 95% of cases replacements of the big toe are less commonly performed as they are yet to be proven to last but some bone preserving replacements procedures can be an option and can be discussed recovery from surgery requires two weeks of elevation to allow the wounds to heal and to speed recovery depending on the surgery you may require a shoe for six weeks with follow-up x-rays swelling and minor pain may go on for several months but should not stop one from returning to daily activities [Music]

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