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Arthritis in Feet and Ankles

Your body is full of joints—approximately 300 in total. Joints connect one bone to another. Over time, your joints can degenerate and become inflamed, tender, and swollen. This is known as arthritis. 

Arthritis is a disease that can occur anywhere within the body, including in the feet and ankles. If you have arthritis in your feet and/or ankles, you may find it difficult to walk, stand, or participate in physical activities you enjoy. 

A “wear-and-tear” disease, arthritis progresses as the cartilage continues to wear away, causing the bones to rub against one another. For some, arthritis can become very painful and even cause deformities in their joints. It can also limit your movements or cause you to lose the affected joint functions altogether.

While arthritis tends to be most prominent in older adults, young people are also at risk of developing arthritis, especially those who have sustained an injury. Our podiatrist, Dr. Bredeweg, can diagnose foot and ankle arthritis upon completion of a thorough examination.

Man with arthritis pain in foot and ankle

How Do You Get Arthritis in Feet and Ankles?

Several risk factors can lead to the development of foot and ankle arthritis. These include:

Being Overweight

Being overweight puts additional stress on your joints. According to Arthritis Foundation, approximately one pound of extra weight puts four pounds of excess pressure on the knees.

History of Foot and Ankle Injuries

When you sustain a foot or ankle injury, you are at risk of developing posttraumatic arthritis. OrthoInfo reports that “dislocations and fractures—particularly those that damage the joint surface—are the most common injuries that lead to post-traumatic arthritis.” The article also notes that posttraumatic arthritis can develop many years after the initial injury, and “an injured joint is about seven times more likely than an uninjured joint to become arthritic, even if the injury is properly treated.”

Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue by mistake. This type of faulty response can lead to inflammation, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. One example of an autoimmune disease is rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the linings of the joints.

Treatment Options for Arthritis in the Feet and Ankles

It’s important to know that there are many treatments available for managing and treating the symptoms that result from foot arthritis and ankle arthritis.

Right Support

Wearing the right support can make a tremendous difference in regard to providing relief from pain, tenderness, and swelling.

Right Footwear

It’s best to avoid shoes like high heels and flip-flops. Instead, purchase footwear that has arch support, a wide toe box, and ample cushioning. If you’d like, our podiatrist can make footwear recommendations in order to help you choose a comfortable pair.

Shoe Insert (PowerStep)/Custom Orthotics

Wearing shoe inserts or purchasing custom orthotics can reduce swelling and alleviate pain. PowerStep is the leading brand of orthotic insoles; these insoles have been designed by podiatrists to not only relieve foot pain but also to prevent it.

Custom orthotics can be prescribed by our podiatrist, and are manufactured after capturing a precise digital scan of your feet, taking into account their unique shape, pressure points, and more.

Regenerative Injection Therapy

Our regenerative injection therapy can be injected into the joints, reducing inflammation and helping to ease the pain. These injections can last several months, and for most people, they work well to improve mobility.


Developed in Switzerland, this non-invasive treatment method is useful for those seeking relief from musculoskeletal diseases such as foot arthritis and ankle arthritis. Magnetolith uses electromagnetic transduction therapy (EMTT) to accelerate tissue regeneration.

Get Proper Treatment for Your Foot and Ankle Arthritis

If you have—or suspect you have—foot and/or ankle arthritis, it’s important to schedule an appointment so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.

You do not have to live with the pain, swelling, and tenderness associated with this disease, and the sooner you treat it, the better your outcome can be.

At Kalamazoo Podiatry, Dr. Terence Bredeweg and his dedicated team can treat your foot arthritis and ankle arthritis. We offer some of today’s most advanced treatment methods for arthritis, including Magnetolith and 3D-printed custom orthotics.

Our offices are located in two convenient locations: 333 Turwill Lane in Kalamazoo and 305 Thomas Street in Allegan. To reach our Kalamazoo office, call 269-373-1019. To reach our Allegan office, call 269-673-8757.

You are also welcome to reach out to us via email by submitting a contact form online. Thank you for putting your trust in Kalamazoo Podiatry!

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