arthritis on top of foot

arthritis on top of foot

Feet are very important for daily function. Whether you are an active runner or like to go on walks for exercise, arthritis pain on the top of your foot can be an issue. The foot is very complex and we know that approximately one quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet. Halfway between the ball of the foot by the big toe and where you bear weight and the back of your foot where by the ankle joint is the midfoot. There are multiple bones in this area that are cube shaped and comprise the arch. It’s a common area to get arthritis in the foot and ankle. These are the affected joints that may cause pain on the top of your foot commonly referred to as midfoot arthritis.

What are the common symptoms?

  1. A boney prominence in this area associated with the arthritic joint.
    The prominence may rub against your shoe and cause pain.
    There may also be numbness, burning or tingling in the same area because the bone spurs are rubbing against nerves beneath the skin.
  2. Dull pain in the morning when you first bear weight.
    There may be pain and swelling on the top of the foot. After a few minutes of walking the pain may subside.
    Over time this pain may be more severe and prolonged hurting with every step you take

What are the causes of pain on the top of the foot?

The number one problem may be foot mechanics causing more wear and tear on these joints. This type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. Some feet may be more prone to this issue. Therefore, your born with the foot biomechanics that might make you more likely to get the problem. Oftentimes a foot type may put more forces through the inner side of the foot by the first and second toe joints. This will cause more stress at the two or three joints in the midfoot associated with these joints in the ball of your foot.

  • Trauma- there may be a history of trauma to the area . There may have been an old fracture of partial dislocation or sprain in the foot that now years later will create arthritis and pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis- pain from arthritis caused by autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

What you can do for arthritis on top of foot?

  • You may need to get a larger shoe or one that is made up of softer material, so it does not rub against the boney spurs.
  • Get a stiffer soled shoe- if you’re getting dull pain in the area when you first bear weight in the morning this is a sign of joint arthritis so more support is critical.
  • Over the counter arch supports- using an over-the-counter arch support may also be helpful. This can add support to the shoes you have. In the elderly using devices such as a cane or walker may become necessary.
  • Choose different activities- If you run consider switching to hiking as this may cause less stress on the joints. You may also consider biking or swimming.
  • Lose weight- If your overweight losing weight will put less stress through the joints and may reduce your pain.
  • Medications- consider using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDS. These anti inflammatory drugs may help with the pain but don’t correct the problem and long term use may not be good for the joints.
  • Supplements and intermittent fasting – this may help reduce inflammation and pain.



What your podiatrist can do?

  • Orthotics – this is a common type of treatment recommended especially if you’re getting pain from the joints in your midfoot as this is an indicator of arthritis and more support and dramatically reduce your pain. This process involves getting a non-weight bearing digital scan of your foot so that orthotic can be made to more accurately support your foot.
  • Cortisone injections- These may be helpful if there is nerve damage from the boney spur irritating nerves on the top of the foot.
  • Laser treatments- This may also be an option if nerve pain is an issue. Our MLS therapy laser is quick to provide relief with no down time in comparison to surgery.
  • Surgery- Surgery to remove the boney spur may be recommended in some situations where there is minimal joint pain but simply pain from the boney prominence.

Treatments for joint pain

As the problem progresses what was once simply a painful bump on the top of the foot may now become pain from the joint that the spur formation is associated with. Then joint pain can become very severe in this area. Fusion of the joint has always been the go-to surgical option. This may involve removing the joint or joints and then using plates staples or bone screws to fuse the joint. It can be successful but there are risks and the lay-up period is weeks of non-weight bearing.

How to avoid joint fusion surgery?

We do it differently at Anderson Podiatry Center!

  • Regenerative medicine treatments– for over 15 years we have been one of the leaders in podiatry using restorative medicine. We currently use placenta or umbilical cord products. These are injected into the involved joints. This allows the opportunity for your body’s natural healing processes to reduce inflammation and trigger increased growth factors to repair resulting in pain relief. We have had great success with this option, and it works well as these are not load bearing joints like a knee. With less load the repair is thought to be improved. These are done in the office and patients return to normal activities in days.
  • Joint denervation – This is a process that involves blocking the pain signals to the brain by removal of a sensory nerve branch. There are four nerves in the lower leg that do not affect muscle strength. Any one of them can be safety removed and will not result in weakness. If a branch is removed, it is buried into muscle and patients are ambulating within days. The success rate has been very good and allows patients to delay and in most cases eliminate the need for joint fusion surgery.

As you can see we have multiple options to get you back to full activities and also feel we are well versed to reduce the need for joint fusion surgery. View our patient testimonials below and when you are ready to meet with a local foot doctor in Fort Collins, give us a call.

Our foot clinic in Fort Collins or our other podiatric foot clinic in Broomfield, Colorado  is staffed with compassionate, caring and experienced staff. We will be glad to provide you with answers for arthritis on top of your foot.

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