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Arthritis Specialist

American Surgeons Group

Podiatrists located in Homewood, Mokena, & South Chicago Heights, IL

There are over 100 different types of arthritis, many of which affect the small joints of your foot and ankle. Board-certified podiatrists Timothy Horak, DPM, and Julia Shauger, DPM, treat arthritis of the foot at American Surgeons Group in Homewood, South Chicago Heights, and Mokena, Illinois. If you suffer from foot or ankle pain due to arthritis, call or book an appointment online.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in your joints. When arthritis affects the joints in your foot or ankle, it can make it difficult to walk or enjoy everyday activities.

Your foot contains over 30 joints, or places where bones meet to allow for movement. Many of the bones in these joints are covered with cartilage at the ends. Cartilage is a slippery tissue that helps the bones glide smoothly during movement. The space around the joints is surrounded by another specialized, lubricating tissue called synovium.

Of over 100 forms of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to the cartilage, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your body’s cells to attack its own synovium. 

What are the symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis?

Arthritis symptoms vary depending on which joint is affected. Common symptoms of arthritis in the foot and ankle include:

  • Foot or ankle pain
  • Joint swelling, redness, or warmth
  • Decreased range of motion in the foot
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain that worsens during activity or after long periods of rest

Most of the time, arthritis symptoms develop gradually, but they can also appear suddenly.

How do you diagnose and treat arthritis?

First, Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger perform a physical exam and review your medical history. They may ask questions about the onset, location, and events surrounding your foot pain and observe the way you walk. They may also take diagnostic imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound, to look for signs of arthritis.

Although there’s no cure for arthritis, Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger can recommend several treatments to help you relieve foot pain and manage other symptoms of the disease. Depending on your individual needs, arthritis treatment may include:

  • Lifestyle changes such as losing weight or switching from high to low-impact activities
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotic ankle and foot devices
  • Cortisone injections
  • Medications to reduce inflammation and pain

If your arthritis pain causes severe disability and doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger may recommend surgery. Dr. Horak is an expert in minimally invasive foot and ankle surgeries.

To find relief from foot or ankle arthritis, call American Surgeons Group or book an appointment online.