EFFECTS OF POST-TRAUMATIC ARTHRITIS ON THE FEET

Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the foot or ankle. Dislocations and fractures, particularly those that damage the joint surface, are the most common injuries that lead to post-traumatic arthritis. Like osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis causes the cartilage between the joints to wear away. It can develop many years after the initial injury.  An injured joint is about seven times more likely than an uninjured joint to become arthritic, even if the injury is properly treated.

Symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • joint pain in the affected joint;
  • swelling of the affected joint;
  • fluid accumulation in the affected joint;
  • decreased tolerance for walking, climbing stairs and activities that stress the joint.

Initial care - things to try at home:

  • apply a heat pack to sore feet to help relieve symptoms of stiff, painful joints;
  • ensure that you wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes;
  • maintain a healthy body weight to take pressure off your ankles and feet and prevent the condition from worsening;
  • keep moving - low-impact exercise, such as walking or water-based activities, is proven to assist in reducing pain.

Our approach to solving your problem:

  1. Our Podiatrists will complete a thorough assessment of the foot and ankle including skin condition, foot shape, flexibility and tenderness to pressure.
  2. As part of this assessment, you may be referred off to get an X-ray, MRI or CT scan.  If you are not already seeing a rheumatologist, this may also be arranged for you via communication with your GP.
  3. We will assist you to make good footwear choices to compliment your changing foot shape and function.
  4. By doing a biomechanical assessment, we will consider whether orthotic therapy may be beneficial for you to give you more arch support and structure for your feet.
  5. We will prescribe exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the effected joint.
  6. It may benefit you to use massage as part of your pain management program, in which case, our Podiatrists would refer you to one of our experienced soft tissue therapists.
  7. We will ensure that we communicate thoroughly and consistently with your GP and any other health care professionals on your management team.

We will then create a management plan specific to you to:

  • help settle the pain;
  • address the causative factors;
  • identify the biomechanical dysfunction;
  • strengthen the related muscles around the joints;
  • provide long-term solutions, where possible;
  • liaise with other members of your health care team;
  • keep you as active as possible, enjoying the activities that you love!

As a sufferer of arthritis, you may be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management plan which would entitle you to up to five bulk-billed podiatry appointments in a calendar year at our clinic.  If this is the case, your GP will arrange the paperwork to be sent to our clinic, usually via fax at 9894 0242.

If you would like help from one of our Podiatrists to manage your arthritis symptoms, please give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment.