Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting some 31 million Americans. You’re more likely to develop loss of joint cartilage if you are older, obese, diabetic, or suffering from heart disease, but some younger, relatively healthy people develop this type of degenerative arthritis following traumatic injury. Flat feet and high arches are believed to place excessive strain on the joints in some cases. The big toe, midfoot, and ankle are the most common sites of osteoarthritis pain, though it can appear at joints in the hands, spine, hips, and knees as well. For advanced conditions that cannot be managed conservatively, NYC foot surgeons decide between hemiarthroplasty and arthrodesis. A study published last month in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgeryexplored the long-term difference between the two procedures.
Wondering what’s causing the pain and stiffness in your knees, ankles, and feet? Maybe you have conjunctivitis in the eyes, increased frequency and discomfort with urination, inflammation of soft tissues, swollen toes or fingers, rashes on the soles and palms, mouth sores, and back pain that worsens at night and first thing in the morning. You were treated for a bacterial infection within the last four weeks, but you thought that was clearing up. If this sounds like what you’re experiencing, you may be asking yourself: “Do I have reactive arthritis (also called Reiter’s Syndrome)?”
Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of the joints, causing pain and stiffness. The small joints of the foot and ankle are especially susceptible. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that nearly half of all people over 60 years old will suffer some form of arthritis in their feet, but it can also strike patients much younger if they’ve suffered a traumatic injury, compete at a high level in sports, or have a family history of the disease. The White Plains podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine are adept at treating arthritis in feet.
The bone in our bodies is a specialized form of connective tissue comprised of 60% mineral (mainly calcium hydroxyapatite), 35% organic material (mostly collagen), and 5% water. Like any other tissue in the body, bone responds to stress caused by weight-bearing activity. Bone remodels in response to mechanical stress, depending on the load, cycle frequency, and the amount of strain. When collagen molecules are compressed, the strain causes microscopic cracks known as stress fractures, which can be a precursor to full fractures. The muscles are a helpful ally in protecting the bone, as they absorb some of the shock that would otherwise be taken up by the bone. Therefore, a muscle-strengthening program is often part of successful stress fracture prevention and a recovery routine.
The development of a stress fracture is complex. We must take into consideration intrinsic factors like sex, race, age, bone geometry, leg length, and foot structure, as well as extrinsic factors like shoe type, training surfaces, regimen, muscle strength, medications, and smoking. We cannot overlook the importance of a healthy diet in protecting against stress fractures or in expediting bone healing.
The field of podiatry is constantly advancing, with new and innovative solutions born to improve upon previous work. In this spirit of embracing the best cutting-edge options available, our board-certified NYC foot surgeons are now some of the first in the state and region to offer the new Cartiva toe implant. Our surgeons underwent extensive training modules and recently performed our seventh successful surgery with excellent results, particularly for treating arthritis. Many new patients are walking into our office asking about the Cartiva implant after downloading the brochure from their website, so we expect these surgeries to increase going into 2018. This is an exciting new treatment for people with arthritis, big toe pain, cartilage damage, deformity, and limited mobility.
More than 50 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis, a degeneration of cartilage that affects 31 million U.S. men and women. Another common type is rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cartilage. By the time people reach their 60’s and 70’s, nearly 50% will have arthritis of the feet. For some people, arthritis is asymptomatic, but you are twice as likely to suffer foot pain if you have arthritis.
So what can you do to prevent this fate? To some extent, arthritis is genetic, but White Plains foot doctors say there are at least seven steps you can take today to stay mobile well into old age.
Osteoarthritis (OA) affects roughly 27 million Americans. Not surprisingly, the foot is one of the most common areas affected by joint cartilage degradation that can result from OA. OA is not merely a matter of “inevitable wear and tear” as we age; rather, it’s a disease process that is a result of many factors such as genetics, excess weight, tendon and ligament injuries, and the presence of other disorders such as acromegaly (a condition involving abnormal growth of the hands and feet) or hemochromatosis (a condition involving joint damage from excess iron.)
As osteoarthritis worsens over time, the bones can break down, causing chips (called “bone spurs”) that float around inside the joint. In response, inflammation occurs, prompting the accumulation of proteins and enzymes that further erode the cartilage. In the final stages of OA, there is no soft tissue remaining in the joint — just bone rubbing up against bone, which accelerates joint damage and causes excruciating pain.
The NYC foot surgeons at The Center For Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine are excited about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a new synthetic cartilage that can be used in the treatment of osteoarthritis involving the foot and toe, offering these patients a pain-free step forward for the first time in years.
These days, there is no reason to live with debilitating arthritis pain in your feet. Surgeons used to discourage younger patients from undergoing ankle surgery because they worried about the limited mobility a joint fusion would bring or the need for another joint replacement down the road. We’ve reported on several success stories of patients who got another lease on life with their new ankles. Another story comes to you from the UK; 56-year-old photographer Donna Castle told the UK Daily Mail she got a new type of ankle replacement — and she loves it!1http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3252578/ME-OPERATION-Hi-tech-ankle-joint-gets-feet-faster.html
Arthritis is a difficult chronic condition to overcome. It can be an autoimmune problem (as in the case of rheumatoid arthritis), related to overuse (as in the case of osteoarthritis), or it may be associated with a traumatic injury or a complication of foot surgery. Approximately 55,000 people a year suffer midfoot injuries like fractures or dislocations that fail to heal properly and cause the development of arthritis.1https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/004/320/TFAS%20Rao%20Midfoot%20arthritis.pdf The Arthritis Foundation estimates that nearly half of all people over 60 will suffer some form of arthritis in the feet.2http://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoarthritis-pictures/ways-to-ease-arthritis-foot-pain.aspx In this article, we’ll cover some of the things you can do at home to ease the everyday aches and pains of foot arthritis.
A new study published in the journal of Arthritis Care and Researchfound that about 25% of patients with knee osteoarthritis also have foot and ankle pain.1http://www.medpagetoday.com/Rheumatology/Arthritis/52399 The investigation of 1,255 patients found that people with foot pain and knee osteoarthritis were more likely to be young and female with a higher BMI. More than half the patients (54.9%) suffered from bilateral foot pain. Researchers could not determine whether the foot pain caused the knee problems, the knee problems caused the foot pain, or if both issues arose simultaneously, but they surmised that pronation and other biomechanical conditions resulted as patients overcompensated for the knee arthritis, and that overcompensation worsened the pain.
“I am so grateful for having had Dr. Geldwert perform bunion surgery on both of my feet. I have complete confidence in him and continue to see him for other sports related injuries. I was cautious about having surgery for the first time, but his knowledge, patience, and skill made me completely comfortable in trusting him. And I couldn’t be any happier with the results!! When anything else feels wrong with my feet, I love that I now know to go immediately to him. He is my top choice for anyone searching for the best foot fixer/surgeon/sports doctor in NYC! Thank you, Dr. Geldwert!!!”
– J. M., Manhattan, NY
Manhattan Office 111 East 88th Street New York, NY 10128 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Westchester Office 10 Mitchell Place Suite 105 White Plains, NY 10601 (914) 328-3400 See map here
Manhattan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine 57 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Dr. Josef J. Geldwert DPM, Dr. Katherine Lai DPM, Dr. Ryan Minara, DPM, and Dr. Mariola Rivera DPM serving Westchester County, White Plains, Ardsley, Bronxville, Harrison NY, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Chappaqua, and the surrounding area.
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