Non-operative Arthritis (Foot and Ankle) Treatment
The pain and symptoms of arthritis can often be controlled with exercise and medication. Some medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, help control the pain. Steroid injections into the joint can help relieve inflammation and swelling. For patients with inflammatory arthritis, medications like prednisone, methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and gold compounds can slow the course of the disease. Newer medications for inflammatory diseases such as Enbil and Remicade may actually alter the progression of the disease itself.
Special shoes may also be prescribed. If the patient’s toes have begun to curl or stiffen, shoes with an extra deep toe box are recommended. In addition, a soft arch support along with a rigid heel may also help. In the most severe cases, the patient may require the aid of a molded ankle-foot brace.
Exercise is essential in the ongoing treatment of foot and ankle arthritis. A Rothman physician or a trained physical therapist may recommend range of motion and stretching techniques to help flexibility while reducing stiffness and pain.