Arthritis is usually associated with knees, hips, and fingers, but several types of arthritis commonly take hold in your feet and ankles. The experienced podiatrists at Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery have helped many patients with arthritis get relief from their pain and maintain optimal movement. If you have advanced ankle arthritis, they’re the premier providers of ankle replacement surgery. To get relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis, call the office in Burbank, Northridge, or Santa Clarita, California, or book an appointment online today!

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What types of arthritis affect my foot and ankle?

You have more than 30 joints in each foot and ankle, and any of them, from your toe joints to your ankle, can develop osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.


Osteoarthritis develops over years of movement that gradually breaks down the protective cartilage on the ends of bones. As more of the cartilage wears away, the bones grate against one another, causing damage and inflammation. If you suffer a foot or ankle injury, you’re seven times more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when an overactive immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial tissues lining the joints, causing inflammation that erodes bones and leads to joint deformities. This type of arthritis affects the same joint in both feet or ankles.

What symptoms occur due to arthritis?

The symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Pain that’s worse in the morning or after resting
  • Pain flare-ups after activity
  • Difficulty walking
  • Joint swelling, warmth, and redness (rheumatoid arthritis)

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may develop painful nodules (hard lumps) around the joint.

How do podiatrists treat foot and ankle arthritis?

The Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery providers create individualized treatment plans that include:

Exercise and physical therapy

Gentle movement is one of the best ways to ease arthritis pain, reduce joint inflammation, and maintain optimal mobility. Regular exercise slows down progressive joint damage.


There aren’t any medications for osteoarthritis, but taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) helps reduce the pain.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, taking disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) slows down the joint damage and can put the disease into remission. Your provider may recommend steroid injections for both types of arthritis.

Podiatric treatments

Your provider offers a range of podiatric treatments that relieve your pain and make it easier to walk and stay active. For example, they may recommend customized orthotics, accommodative shoes, bracing, or other assistive devices.


The podiatric surgeons at Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery are experts in ankle replacement surgery, a treatment that eliminates pain and restores movement when advanced arthritis causes extensive joint damage.

However, you may also need surgery for foot arthritis, whether to clean the joints or repair joint deformities.

Call Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery or book an appointment online today to get exceptional care for arthritis.