What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, symmetrical, inflammatory arthritis often affecting the joints and soft tissues of the foot. It can be an extremely painful condition causing toes to buckle and appear deformed and as the joints rub they can become red and sore. Many sufferers struggle to walk unaided.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot?
Unlike osteoarthritis (which is caused by wear and tear) rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease which attacks the tissue that lines and cushions the joints. This leaves the smaller joints in your toes swollen, painful and stiff and they may even freeze into one position, leaving sufferers unable to have full movement.
What are the Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Sadly, there is no current cure for rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment from a podiatric surgeon can help to reduce pain and reduce inflammation in the joints, as well as prevent or slow any further joint damage.
Insoles and orthotics, splints and custom footwear can provide some comfort from the condition, helping to manage things but will not solve the problem long term. In instances where there is severe pain and conservative treatment has not helped an operation may be recommended.
There are a number of surgical options and Mr. Kannegieter will thoroughly explain the best treatment plan for you following consultation.
Where joint cartilage has been severely damaged or destroyed a procedure called an arthrodesis can fuse the joints together using screws, plates or rods which encourage the bones to merge together into one solid bone, reducing pain.
Surgery can also correct any subsequent conditions caused by rheumatoid arthritis, such as hammertoes and bunions.
Mr. Kannegieter has many years’ experience treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis and would be delighted to welcome you to the clinic to discuss your treatment options.