Arthritis Specialist

Dr. Maurice W. Aiken, DPM -  - Podiatry

Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists

Dr. Maurice W. Aiken, DPM

Podiatry & Alternative Medicine located in Dunedin, FL

Arthritis is a common musculoskeletal issue that affects more than 54 million Americans. If you experience foot or ankle pain regularly, and it interferes with your quality of life, don’t wait to meet with an experienced podiatrist. At Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Maurice W. Aiken, DPM, works with people of all ages to diagnose and treat arthritis of the foot and ankle. To make an appointment at the practice in Dunedin, Florida, call the office today or schedule online.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a group of more than 100 diseases that cause your joints to swell and become stiff. If you regularly experience foot or ankle pain, it might be due to:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs due to the breakdown of cartilage — a soft, supportive substance that pads your joints. Without enough cartilage to provide a cushion, your bones rub against each other, resulting in pain. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis causes your immune system to attack the lining of your joints (synovium). Over time, the destruction of your synovium results in swelling, pain, and bone abnormalities.

Gout

Gout commonly affects men who consume high-protein diets. It causes uric acid to build up between the joints in your feet, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation of the big toe.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness

As arthritis worsens, you might also experience difficulty extending or putting weight on your joints.

Who is at risk of arthritis?

Anyone can experience foot and ankle arthritis, but several factors increase your risk, including:

  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Having a family history of arthritis
  • Experiencing a joint injury
  • Weight-related issues

Your sex can also increase your risk of arthritis. For example, women commonly develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more susceptible to gout.

How is arthritis diagnosed?

At Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists, Dr. Aiken diagnoses arthritis by reviewing your health history and asking about your symptoms, including their severity and when they first started. Next, he examines the joints in your feet and ankles, checking them for signs of swelling, redness, or warmth.

If a physical exam doesn’t provide enough information, Dr. Aiken might order additional tests like X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI. These diagnostic imaging procedures can pinpoint the location, type, and severity of arthritis that you have.

How is arthritis treated?

Treatment of foot and ankle arthritis depends on the type and severity of your symptoms. Dr. Aiken might recommend:

  • Healthy lifestyle changes
  • Losing weight
  • Custom orthotics
  • Erchonia® cold laser treatment
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)
  • Regenerative medicine (PRP, amnio Fluid Flow™, and stem cell therapy)

If conservative, minimally invasive treatments don’t provide adequate relief, Dr. Aiken might recommend surgery. Thanks to advances in surgical tools and treatment techniques, most modern procedures are minimally invasive and don’t require a stay in the hospital.

To receive treatment for arthritis of the foot and ankle, make an appointment at Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling the office today or scheduling online.