Arthritis is a challenge no matter where it happens in the body, but arthritic conditions can be especially problematic for your lower limbs. In part, this is attributable to the fact there are 33 joints in each foot and ankle. Further, your lower appendages are responsible for supporting your entire body and enduring tremendous force loads (up to 3 times your bodyweight) even from simply walking.
So there are lots of opportunities for arthritis to arise in feet and ankles. One of the goals of managing arthritic pain is to avoid surgery. Before we discuss how we can potentially do so, it’s important to understand that some cases require surgical procedures for optimal pain relief or to restore foot function.
Fortunately, there are nonsurgical options that prove to be effective for some patients!
To determine the appropriate course forward for managing your arthritis pain—and assessing which options might be best for you—we obviously start with a careful diagnosis.
In doing so, we may need to order X-rays or blood tests to establish the root cause of the arthritic pain you are experiencing. Whether diagnostic tools and tests are needed, you can be assured we will take the time to listen as you tell us what is happening and give background on the problem. It may be beneficial to review your medical history as well.
Once we have gained sufficient insight into what is happening, we will start to discuss possible treatment options.
Prior to coming in and seeing us for professional care, you may have tried over-the-counter pain relievers, icing, and perhaps taking warm showers to manage the pain. Options like these might be able to provide a little benefit, but there is usually more that can be done. This is where Sierra Foot & Ankle can really help you.
The nature of your condition—root cause, severity, etc.—will guide us as we recommend a treatment plan for you, but it is worth highlighting a nonsurgical option we are pleased to offer: Synvisc- One®.
If we are not finding the results we hope to see with simple analgesic medication (like acetaminophen) and conservative non-pharmacology therapy (exercises, for example), you might benefit from this advanced treatment option.
Synvisc is an injectable product containing a gel-like mixture. This mixture consists of a natural substance found in the body—but harvested in this instance from chicken combs—called hyaluronan. Hyaluronan is found in high quantities in our joints and acts as a lubricant so joints can function correctly. Additionally, this particular substance assists with a joint’s ability to absorb shock.
When utilizing this therapy, we only need to provide a single injection once every six months.If an arthritic condition is affecting your ability to perform normal activities, contact Sierra Foot & Ankle. We will work with you to create a treatment plan that reduces the pain and stiffness from foot or ankle arthritic conditions. Call us today at (775) 783-8037 for more information or to request an appointment!