Degenerative arthritis is a condition that slowly wears away joints (the link between where bones meet and move). In the beginning, you may notice that the affected joint seems stiff and it may even ache. As the joint lining (cartilage) breaks down, the bones rub against each other, causing foot pain or swelling.
The Big Toe Joint
When arthritis affects your big toe, your foot hurts when it pushes off the ground. Arthritis often appears in the big-toe joint along with a bunion.
When arthritis affects the rear or midfoot joints, you feel pain when you put weight on your foot. Arthritis may affect the joint where the ankle and foot meet, resulting in ankle pain. It may also affect other joints nearby.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to limit pain and swelling. Ice, aspirin, or ibuprofen may help relieve mild symptoms that occur after activity.
- If the bone is not damaged too badly, your doctor may simply shave away bone spurs. Any excess bone growth related to a bunion may also be trimmed.
- If damage is more severe, your doctor may fuse the joint to prevent the bones from rubbing. Afterward, staples or screws may hold the bones in place so they heal properly. In some cases, the joint may be removed and replaced with an implant.