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Feet take tremendous abuse. Walking on cement can give each foot a 180-lb jolt with every step. Yet, many people who experience arthritis of the feet are unaware that it is a condition that often can be successfully treated. Although arthritis of the feet and ankles may have different causes, the treatment options are often similar. After an x-ray is taken to diagnosis arthritis, 2 treatment options are available?conservative (nonsurgical) and surgical.
Conservative treatments include supportive shoes, cortisone injections, medications, and physical therapy to relieve the symptoms. Surgical treatment includes removal of bone spurs, partial removal of the arthritic joint, and joint replacement. In many cases, reconstructive surgery can bring improvement in the form of pain relief and improved joint mobility. Although surgery will ease the pain and make daily activities more manageable, it will not cure arthritis or completely restore the joint to its natural health. For more information about treatment, visit the American Podiatric Medical Association Web site at www.apma.org.