Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. When it affects the feet, it can be particularly challenging, as our feet take the weight of our bodies and are essential for movement. One type of foot arthritis that can be particularly severe is Charcot foot, which is most common in diabetics. This type of arthritis can cause sudden fractures and deformities, which are often painful and can put patients at risk of developing pressure sores or ulcers.
While many cases of Charcot foot can be treated without surgery, there are instances where surgery is necessary. For example, if there is chronic deformity with increased pressure on the foot or ankle, if there is significant instability that cannot be corrected by braces, or if there are ulcers that do not respond to therapy. In these cases, surgery may be prescribed to realign the foot or remove a portion of the bone.
There are several types of surgical procedures for arthritis in the foot. Hindfoot and ankle realignment is usually prescribed when there is significant instability, which can lead to the patient being unable to walk. Various types of internal fixation, including screws and plates, may be placed within the foot during this kind of surgery. Midfoot realignment, on the other hand, is usually prescribed when there is significant instability of the middle portion of the foot. Again, various types of internal fixation may be used during this procedure.
In some cases, an ostectomy may be performed, in which a portion of the bone is removed from the bottom of the foot. This type of surgery is usually performed for a wound on the bottom of the foot that is secondary to pressure from a bony prominence.
It’s worth noting that surgery for arthritis in the foot is not always necessary, and there are many non-surgical options that can be explored first. For example, custom orthotics or braces may be prescribed to support the foot and prevent further damage. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help patients maintain range of motion and strengthen their muscles.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of arthritis in the foot, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM is a trained podiatrist who specializes in conditions of the feet and can help you manage your arthritis symptoms. He can evaluate your feet, determine whether surgery is necessary, and guide you through the rehabilitation process after surgery. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet.