East Arkansas Medical Group Podiatrist Addresses Arthritis Development in the Feet and Ankles
Our feet and ankles take quite a bit of wear and tear over the course of our lives and Dr. Lynette Meece, Surgical Podiatrist for East Arkansas Medical Group has information to offer on the development of arthritis in these lower extremities that can help patients know when it is time to see a doctor.
Dr. Meece said while there are different types of arthritis that may develop in the feet and ankles, osteoarthritis is common due to the nature of its development. “Osteoarthritis, aka ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, is very common in the foot. The great toe joint is common for osteoarthritis due to its role in propulsion in the gait cycle,” she explained, meaning the joint moves while bearing weight with each step a person takes. “Ankle arthritis is also common after previous ankle sprains or ankle fractures. Rheumatoid arthritis patients will also have issues with their feet over time.”
Dr. Meece said there are a number of signs patients may notice that can indicate the development of such a condition in the feet and ankles. “Signs and symptoms of arthritis in the feet include localized inflammation like swelling, pain, and redness. The affected joint will be stiff with limited range of motion.” She said these symptoms should be taken seriously and patients who notice them should see a physician if they become unable to perform routine activities. “Patients should visit a podiatrist when the arthritic pain is starting to interfere with their activities of daily living. There are ways to keep arthritic pain under control that do not involve surgical correction of the problem, such as corticosteroid injections in the arthritic joint.” She explained if patients are proactive and schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as they notice daily tasks are becoming restricted, non-surgical methods of pain management are more likely to be helpful.
Dr. Meece explained there are also options for patients looking to take preventative action or to slow the process of arthritic development. “Rheumatoid arthritis can be genetically linked,” she said, explaining that while it is less common, patients who are aware of a family history of this type of arthritis may see these symptoms at the onset of a developing condition. “Osteoarthritis is more common the older we get and, for those dealing with symptoms of osteoarthritis, good supportive shoe gear with inserts can help slow the disease process.”
Other conditions affecting the feet and ankles can be brought on by a number of causes including age, activity, genetic predisposition, or as side effects of other medical conditions. These can include neuropathy, gout, Achilles tendonitis, or Plantar Fasciitis.
Dr. Meece sees area patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the outpatient podiatry clinic of East Arkansas Medical Group. Patients visiting East Arkansas Medical Group clinics can feel safe in knowing the clinics are sanitized according to the latest CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Those with concerns of developing conditions in the feet and ankles that may affect everyday life can call 870-494-4785 to schedule an appointment. For more information on podiatry services offered, visit www.EastArkansasCare.com.