Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease for which there is no cure. It affects approximately 2.1 million Americans. Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis foot pain often have pain in the metatarsal heads (balls of the feet). In fact, this is one of the more common modes of onset.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Deformities
Rheumatoid arthritis can result in multiple deformities including hallux valgus (bunions) and hammer toes (where the toes bend at the calluses and knuckle develop at the tips of the toe). There is also subluxation of the metatarsal heads where the joints in the balls of the feet and ankle become so deformed that the balls of the toes and feet become “disconnected.”
For people living with arthritis, it is crucial to deal with feet. In the end, feet are the foundation of many of our everyday activities. Whether a person has degenerative arthritis referred to as osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, they should keep the feet active.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Pain Operations
Struggling with arthritis is not something to joke about. It is the condition for which many people are prepared to undergo surgeries like ankle fusion and knee replacement. The ankle is among the common areas of the body where bone fusion is performed. Very much the same, the knees are some of the most often removed and replaced areas of the body. However, ankle fusion might be more complex than bone replacement.
Usually, arthritis occurs because the tendons harden, causing friction with every movement, which is often an extremely painful experience. The practical option would be to get rid of or limit the reason for such friction which can be done by taking out the bone on top of the affected joints and binding all of them with a metallic rod. Ultimately, this process enables the connected bones to develop together. While there are more methods to address this complaint, this approach is probably the most efficient and preferred.
The results of this sort of operation are irreversible. For this reason, patients must consult their surgeon extensively before making their final decision. Depending on your physician, you may also be instructed to go through an overall checkup just before your surgery.
Post-surgery care is essential. Whether or not the operated part of the body is protected with a cast, don’t put any pressure on it. The fusion of the bones might take 8-12 weeks should you pay attention to it. However, bone replacement might take a lot longer. In case your surgical treatment is performed in your leg, elevating it can accelerate the healing process.
Alternative Tips to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
There are plenty of less painful options that provide a faster way to get back on your feet. An efficient recovery, however, can’t be guaranteed by medical technology alone. The individual should also possess the winning attitude, willingness, and determination to follow along with the necessary therapy.
It is recommended you find a mentor or trainer who can guide and provide physical, mental, emotional, and moral support for you. Having somebody who has gone through the same painful ordeal as yours can produce a huge difference in building that positive mindset.
Also, patients with rheumatoid arthritis foot pain are prone to develop flat feet and a condition known as hindfoot valgus where the back of the foot and ankle tilt outwards. This places much stress on the tendons along the inside part of the ankle, which can eventually lead the ankle to collapse.
Rheumatoid arthritis foot pain can also lead to damage of the small nerves in the feet which may result in patients no longer having the proper ability to sense the ground as they walk.
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