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Arthritis in Top of Foot

Managing Arthritis in Top of Foot: Effective Strategies for Pain Relief and Mobility

If you’re battling arthritis in the top of your foot, finding effective pain relief is essential. Our article provides clear, practical steps to mitigate arthritis pain and improve foot mobility. Learn about targeted non-surgical treatments and essential lifestyle modifications, and recognise when surgery may become necessary—all aimed at keeping you moving comfortably.

Key Takeaways

  • Midfoot arthritis leads to symptoms like pain, stiffness, and bony prominences and is caused by factors such as age, obesity, family history, and injuries. Diagnosing it typically involves physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.
  • Non-surgical treatments for midfoot arthritis include lifestyle modifications like weight and footwear management, medications such as NSAIDs, cortisone injections, and physical therapy exercises to maintain joint mobility.
  • When non-surgical treatments are inadequate, surgery may be an option. Joint replacement surgery can help preserve motion, while fusion surgery eliminates painful movement but reduces flexibility. Assistive devices and custom orthotics can also aid in managing symptoms and improving mobility.

Understanding Midfoot Arthritis: A Focus on the top of the foot

Illustration of a foot with highlighted areas of arthritis in the midfoot joints

Midfoot arthritis primarily impacts the tarsometatarsal joints in the centre of the foot, leading to discomfort, rigidity, and bony growth. This condition can also change the structure of your foot by flattening its medial arch. Bone spurs are a typical result of midfoot arthritis as they form from deteriorated or damaged cartilage between bones caused by osteoarthritis in these affected joints.

Identifying the Symptoms

Determining whether you have midfoot arthritis can be done by looking for sure signs. These include the gradual onset of symptoms like swelling, tenderness, and pain triggered by physical activity. To these indicators, a noticeable bony prominence on the top part of your foot may also suggest the presence of treated midfoot arthritis.

Awareness of these warning signs is essential in effectively managing this condition and finding appropriate treatment options. It is important not to ignore any possible indications of significant midfoot injury, such as pain or inflammation, to address midfoot arthritis adequately.

Recognising the Causes

Midfoot arthritis is a condition that various factors, including age, obesity, family history and previous injuries such as Lisfranc fractures or dislocations, can cause. These risk factors significantly increase the chances of developing this type of arthritis over time.

Not only does ageing play a role in midfoot arthritis development, but also underlying conditions like rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. Biomechanical issues like tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction have been linked to the onset of this form of arthritis.

It’s important to note that several elements contribute to midfoot arthritis, affecting midfoot joints that become inflamed and painful. Some may be uncontrollable, while others are within our control through proper treatment measures and lifestyle choices.

The Diagnostic Process

Diagnosing midfoot arthritis involves:

  • A physical examination
  • Reviewing the patient’s medical history
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, which are commonly used and may be complemented by a CT scan for a detailed joint analysis

However, it’s important to note that while X-rays are valuable, some studies indicate that brief clinical assessments may be insufficient for accurate diagnosis without considering structural changes observable in imaging.

This highlights the importance of comprehensive evaluation and further research into enhancing diagnostic accuracy.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Midfoot Arthritis

Now that you have a good understanding of midfoot arthritis, let’s explore the various non-surgical options for treating it. These methods are usually the initial course of action and can effectively alleviate the pain caused by arthritis in this part of your foot.

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle changes are essential in managing arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions. One crucial change is maintaining a healthy weight to reduce joint pressure. Even small decreases in body weight can significantly relieve symptoms, improve joint pain and allow for better physical activity.

Footwear modification also plays a crucial role in alleviating symptoms associated with midfoot arthritis. Choosing shoes that provide proper arch support, have stiff soles, thickly cushioned bottoms for added support, and soft upper materials like quality athletic footwear can help prevent Irritation or discomfort from bony growths caused by this type of arthritis.

To manage one’s weight and select suitable footwear options, lifestyle modifications such as exercise routines tailored towards strengthening muscles around the affected areas can also effectively reduce pain levels associated with midfoot arthritis. Incorporating these adjustments into daily life habits and any prescribed medical treatment plan given by healthcare professionals may improve the overall quality of life for those with painful arthritic joint conditions.

Medication and Therapies

Aside from making lifestyle changes, midfoot arthritis can be managed through medications such as NSAIDs and cortisone injections. Corticosteroid shots are a standard treatment for this condition, providing temporary relief to the affected area, but their effectiveness may decrease over time. To alleviate symptoms during flare-ups, resting the joints and using heat or ice treatments along with over-the-counter pain relievers and NSAIDs can also help manage pain and swelling.

Physical and raspy are crucial in treating midfoot arthritis by preventing joint stiffness and locking through range-of-motion exercises. A skilled physical therapist can effectively guide patients through these exercises that target arthritic pains in the same joint at the top of the foot specifically.

When surgery Becomes an Option

Illustration of joint replacement surgery for midfoot arthritis

While non-surgical methods can bring significant relief, they may not always be enough. If pain continues to persist despite receiving medical treatment and starts impacting daily tasks, surgery could potentially be considered as a solution.

Understanding Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery is a surgical option for individuals who have severe arthritis, aimed at alleviating pain while maintaining joint mobility. This procedure enables patients to engage in activities such as walking on uneven surfaces, climbing stairs, running and jumping with greater ease and reduced discomfort. Typically constructed of titanium or cobalt chromium alloy combined with polyethene for the joint surface component, these foot and ankle arthritis implants are known for their durability.

In case of nickel allergy in patients requiring an ankle implantation procedure, a specialised alternative is made of titanium that can be custom-made to fit individual needs.

Individuals undergoing this type of surgery experience relief from chronic pain caused by arthritis through durable materials like cobalt chromium alloy and polyethene used in constructing ankle replacements for those who suffer allergies to certain metals like nickel, which forms part of some implanted devices. Well-suited substitutes devoid of said allergens include custom-built pure titanium prostheses.

Fusion Surgery: Pros and Cons

Another option that may be suggested for treating the ankle joint is fusion surgery. This procedure involves using metal screws to connect two or more bones, effectively preventing painful movement between joints. Unlike ankle replacements, with a higher failure rate, fusion surgery often provides long-lasting relief for patients as it creates a permanent bond between the bones. One downside of this procedure is reduced flexibility in the ankle joint, which may not be suitable for those with active lifestyles.

It’s important to note that there are potential risks and complications associated with an ankle fusion surgery, and approximately 5% of patients may require additional corrective procedures afterwards.

Daily Management and Self-Care Strategies

Photo of a person using heat therapy for midfoot arthritis relief

Aside from medical procedures and prescribed medication, many daily practices and self-care methods can significantly improve the well-being of individuals with arthritis. These strategies serve to enhance their overall quality of life significantly.

Foot Exercises and Stretching

Proper foot exercises and stretching play a crucial role in managing arthritis. One can reduce strain on the midfoot joints by targeting calf and ankle muscles. Activities like ankle movements and wall pushes are beneficial for increasing flexibility and functioning of the foot and ankle.

For targeted exercises, stretching the plantar fascia (which runs along the bottom of your feet) and performing toe-spreading exercises are essential. These activities help strengthen foot muscles, improve stability, and alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis in soft tissues in the foot area.

Home Remedies for Symptom Relief

To exercise, various home remedies can help alleviate symptoms associated with joint pain. Applying heat therapy is particularly beneficial as it aids in loosening muscles, reducing spasms and easing stiffness in the joints. It is considered an effective treatment for managing these conditions. Alternating heat and cold therapies may help relieve pain and decrease morning stiffness or inflammation after extended physical activity.

For individuals experiencing arthritis-related foot pain, taking Epsom salt baths can provide relief by minimising discomfort and swelling. Another option that offers symptom relief is creams containing capsaicin, which creates a warming sensation on arthritic joints in the feet, providing soothing effects against joint pain.

The Role of Assistive Devices and Supportive Gear

Illustration of custom orthotics for midfoot arthritis support

Assistive devices and supportive gear can be crucial in managing arthritis and improving mobility. These tools, including orthopaedic shoes and various types of mobility aids, have the potential to enhance one’s daily life significantly.

Custom Orthotics and Insoles

Foot arthritis sufferers can find relief from foot pain and improve function with the help of customised orthotic inserts. These insoles can reduce swelling and discomfort by providing midfoot support, promoting healing without disruption.

Using rigid carbon fibre plates and stiffening shoe inserts enhances the already beneficial effects of custom foot orthoses for those dealing with foot pain caused by arthritis.

Adaptive Footwear

Adaptive footwear designed for individuals with arthritis can significantly decrease the impact on affected joints, improving overall mobility. For those suffering from severe osteoarthritis, rocker sole shoes are highly recommended as they help reduce strain and pressure on arthritic joints. Some reputable brands known for offering a variety of beneficial features specifically aimed at assisting those with either ankle or foot arthritis include Vionic, Ecco, Clarks and Mephisto.


To sum up, midfoot arthritis may seem overwhelming, but by having a thorough understanding of the condition and various treatment choices at your disposal, it becomes a manageable issue. Recognising this ongoing process involving comprehension, management, and adaptation is essential. You are not alone in dealing with this. With practical strategies in place, you can improve mobility and reduce pain levels for a better quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does arthritis in the top of the foot feel like?

Arthritis in the upper part of the foot can result in discomfort, instability, and cracking sounds when walking or exercising, especially after wearing high-heeled shoes. For some people, pain may also occur during nighttime hours.

This condition is characterised by inflammation and stiffness affecting the ankle replacement foot area’s joints. Those with arthritis often experience persistent pain as well as instability, which can make it worse.

What is the best treatment for arthritis in the feet?

The most effective way to treat arthritis in the feet includes modifying activity, utilising braces, receiving corticosteroid injections and taking pain medication. These methods relieve discomfort and enhance movement capabilities in nearby joints, making it easier to manage this condition.

Does foot arthritis go away?

No, foot arthritis does not go away; the pain is worse, but treatments are available to help manage the pain and disability it causes.

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and arthritis?

The primary distinction between arthritis and osteoarthritis is that while the former, like rheumatoid arthritis, occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself as an autoimmune disease, the latter involves a specific joint experiencing wear down of its smooth cartilage surface. Both conditions involve degenerative changes to joints but have different underlying causes.

What are the symptoms of midfoot arthritis?

Midfoot arthritis is characterised by inflammation, sensitivity, and discomfort that intensify with physical movement. It may also be accompanied by a protrusion on the upper part of the foot due to bone changes associated with this type of inflammatory arthritis.

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