These are the tests done to diagnose foot and ankle arthritis:
- Medical history is taken by the doctor on when and where the pain started and the factors that makes the pain worse or relieves the pain.
- Gait analysis. A test done by the doctor to assess your steps and how you walk.
- X-rays. X-rays are used to diagnose osteoarthritis, often showing a loss of cartilage, bone spurs.
Nonsurgical techniques to treatment foot and ankle arthritis:
- Physical therapy
- Wear orthotics or customized shoes
- Control your weight
- Wear braces to support your joint
- Use foot and ankle support inserts
- Use a cane or walker to reduce the stress to the affected joint
- Medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines
- Steroid injections into the joint.
There are various surgeries available to treat foot and ankle arthritis depending on the type and extent of the disease.
- Arthroscopic surgery. A small instrument with a camera (arthroscope) will be inserted into the joint and shows the image through a monitor. Small surgical instruments (i.e. forceps, knives, and shavers) will then be used to evacuate any bone spurs or foreign tissues in the joint. This technique can be done when your arthritis is on its early stage.
- Fusion surgery (arthrodesis). This technique connects the bones by using pins, screws, rods or plates. When the bone is healed, it remains connected.
- Joint replacement surgery. In this procedure, the joint of the ankle is totally replaced with an artificial implant.