Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Sophisticated care from experts in foot and ankle surgery.

Foot and ankle arthritis can make it difficult to exercise or even walk without pain and joint instability. Get effective treatment from the specialists at Henry Ford Health System. We offer a full range of noninvasive treatments for joint pain, as well as the most innovative surgeries.

Foot and ankle arthritis care: Why choose Henry Ford?

People choose us for foot and ankle arthritis treatment because we offer:

  • More experience: Our foot and ankle team includes both orthopedic and podiatric specialists. You have access to two types of doctors with extensive experience caring for arthritis in the foot or ankle, to cover all needs.
  • Customized treatments: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to foot care. We design customized treatment plans around your unique needs and recovery goals to ensure the best outcome.
  • Easy access: We have foot and ankle clinics throughout southeast and south central Michigan. We also offer virtual visits and appointments within 24 business hours. We make it easier than ever to get fast, effective care for your feet and ankles. Find a location.

What Is foot and ankle arthritis?

The ankle and toe joints (usually the big toe joint) can develop any form of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: Also called degenerative arthritis, this form is the most common type of arthritis. It develops over time as the cartilage around the joints gradually wears away. 
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: This type of arthritis is caused by repeated injuries such as sprains or fractures. Athletes are especially prone to post-traumatic arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This joint condition is caused by an autoimmune disease that attacks the lubricated lining of joints, causing them to swell.

Foot and ankle arthritis symptoms

Symptoms of ankle arthritis or toe arthritis may include:

  • Popping or crunching sound with movement
  • Joint stiffness and reduced range of motion
  • Joint tenderness or swelling
  • Pain when the joint is moved
  • Weakness or instability in the joint

Foot and ankle arthritis treatment

Our specialists usually recommend starting with a course of conservative treatments for arthritis in the feet and toes. Options include:

  • Custom orthotics
  • Braces
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain relief injections
  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy
  • Stem cell therapy

Learn more about our nonsurgical foot and ankle treatments.

Foot and ankle arthritis surgery

 If you have severe ankle or toe joint pain and haven’t found relief with conservative treatments, we may recommend surgery. We work with you to determine the best procedure for your needs. Options include:

  • Cartilage replacement: Synthetic cartilage is implanted into the big toe to relieve pain and improve mobility. 
  • Arthroscopic debridement: This minimally invasive procedure is a way to “clean” the arthritic joint of damaged tissue and bone spurs.
  • Joint fusion: The bones of the joint are permanently joined into a single bone to reduce pain caused by joint movement.
  • Total ankle replacement: Arthritic bones and cartilage are removed and replaced with plastic or metal components.

If you’re a candidate for surgery, we make sure you have realistic expectations about what it entails and what to expect during recovery. We also offer comprehensive care after surgery, including rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Expert Orthopedic Care

Virtual appointments are available. 

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Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, for your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call your primary care provider. For symptoms of COVID-19, please visit our website www.henryford.com/coronavirus.

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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