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Arthritis Specialist

Alexander J Pappas, DPM -  - Board Certified Podiatrist

Alexander J Pappas, DPM

Board Certified Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Hudson, FL, Brooksville, FL, & Lutz, FL

About 8 million Americans have difficulty performing their job duties because of arthritis. When arthritis affects your feet and ankles, it’s particularly difficult because it can compromise your mobility and bleed into every aspect of your life. At the practice of board-certified podiatrist Alexander J. Pappas, DPM, you find proven solutions for arthritis management to help you enjoy life to the fullest. There are three offices in Hudson, Brooksville, and Lutz, Florida, so call the one nearest you or click on the online appointment scheduler for help now.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis includes a group of over 100 diseases that each cause serious joint damage. Although arthritis can occur in your shoulders, knees, hips, hands, and many other joints, your feet and ankles may get the worst of it because it's hard to avoid using the afflicted joints.

The most common types of foot and ankle arthritis are osteoarthritis, an age-related condition in which your cartilage (joint covering) breaks down, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that destroys your joint lining. Another form of arthritis, gout, occurs mainly in the big toe when uric acid builds up and damages the joint.  

Untreated foot and ankle arthritis can lead to lost mobility and serious disability over time. If you recognize arthritis symptoms when they happen, however, and see Dr. Pappas for help, you can stay on your feet and remain active.

What are the symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis?

Foot and ankle arthritis causes changes in your joints, which manifest as symptoms such as:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth
  • Discomfort
  • Limited range of motion

Gout happens in sudden-onset attacks, which usually start in the middle of the night. 

What does an arthritis diagnosis involve?

Dr. Pappas carefully examines your feet and ankles. He may check your gait (the way you walk) and gently manipulate your joints to observe problems. 

You may need diagnostic tests, such as X-rays to check for changes in the joints and blood tests to check for inflammatory markers, before Dr. Pappas makes a diagnosis and designs an arthritis treatment plan.

How do you treat arthritis?

Dr. Pappas starts with pain relief, which can help you become comfortable enough to do any necessary rehab exercises. You may need anti-inflammatory medication, custom orthotics, and other conservative nonsurgical treatments to manage pain effectively. 

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you likely have joint damage elsewhere in your body as well, for example in your hands and fingers. Your rheumatology specialist may prescribe drugs to delay the progression of the disease. 

If you have severe arthritis pain that conservative measures can’t tame, injections of corticosteroids can fight off swelling and pain for as long as a few months. If fluid buildup creates problems within your joint, Dr. Pappas can aspirate (drain) the fluid using a slim needle. 

In cases where no other treatments work, you may need foot or ankle surgery to rebuild or replace the afflicted joints. Dr. Pappas is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon who can expertly rebuild your joint to restore your function.

With all types of arthritis treatment, Dr. Pappas typically prescribes a customized physical therapy plan. The more active you are, the better you can manage your arthritis long term. 

Click on the online scheduler or call the office of Alexander J. Pappas, DPM, for help with foot and ankle arthritis now.