Experts say that 90 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) will experience problems with their feet and ankles. Inflammation from this disease causes pain, swelling, redness and a limited range of movement in the joints. In addition, the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons are broken down by the immune system. This, in turn, may cause difficulty in standing and walking for long periods of time. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the ankle by making it more difficult to go up and down steps. In the hindfoot area, RA impedes the ability to walk on uneven surfaces, such as gravel. Pain generally starts on the outside of the foot, and eventually moves to the arch and the inside of the foot. It may even lead to flat feet as bones shift and become damaged. In the midfoot, the ligaments that support the feet become weaker and cause a collapse of the arch. Deformities in the toes, such as bunions and hammertoe, caused by rheumatoid arthritis may make it difficult not only to walk, but to wear shoes. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is a good idea to develop an ongoing relationship with a podiatrist to monitor these and other changes to your feet and ankles.
Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact the foot specialists of NYC Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet
Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.
- Swelling and pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift and deformation
Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in New York . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.