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Learn more about foot arthritis and its symptoms and treatment options.

Arthritis is most simply described as pain within your joints. It occurs as the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones starts to wear away, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain.

  • The condition typically affects individuals as they reach middle age
  • It can also develop because of an injury or trauma to a joint at any age



Your foot has more than 30 joints, and arthritis can occur in any of them – however it is most common in the ankle, hind foot, mid-foot or big toe. Symptoms develop as you age and the joint continues to break down. Symptoms that you may feel in these joints include:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Stiffness or reduced motion
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking due to any of the symptoms above


While there isn’t a cure for arthritis, there are many ways to treat and manage the pain. Medication and physical therapy can work for many cases, but with more severe conditions, surgery may be necessary. You can reduce the symptoms of arthritis with the following:

  • Physical therapy and exercises – Your podiatrist can recommend appropriate therapy and exercises to relieve pain.
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications – Medications can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Canes or braces – Assistive devices help to support the joints.
  • Trimming bone – In severe cases, trimming damaged bone will ease movement and reduce pain.
  • Fusing joints – This procedure prevents bones from painfully rubbing together.