London Podiatry Centre offers the latest treatment for arthritis
Patients who attend the London Podiatry Centre often ask questions about arthritis. Here we attempt to answer some of the more common questions asked by patients attending the Centre.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis means inflammation of joints. There are different types of arthritis and these can broadly be divided into two categories:
Is there cure for arthritis of the feet?
In the case of osteoarthritis, a key aspect of treatment involves finding the biomechanical imbalance that has led to excessive wear on a joint. This is one of the key functions of the biomechanical assessment with gait analysis ? to allow for the recognition of dynamic factors which may be contributing to arthritis. Only when the cause is fully and properly established can an effective treatment plan be initiated, and this is why the London Podiatry Centre has invested considerable effort and resources in acquiring sophisticated biomechanical and gait analysis technology. Tremendous advancements have been made in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis. Treatment revolves around early diagnosis and aggressive drug therapy to ensure that the disease is brought quickly under control.
How do I know which form of arthritis I have?
This question relates to the S-factor campaign, a new initiative to make people more aware of arthritis. If you can answer yes to the three key questions, then you are more likely to have inflammatory arthritis, rather than osteoarthritis. The three questions are:
If the answer to these three questions is yes, then you are likely to be suffering from inflammatory arthritis rather than osteoarthritis. However, there are other conditions which can mimic arthritis type symptoms, so always seek a medical opinion.
How common is osteoarthritis in the feet?
Studies have shown that up to 80% of older population has some degree of arthritis in their feet. It has been estimated that approximately 20% of people in general have osteoarthritis.
Is it possible to have osteoarthritis in just one joint?
While this is possible, it is uncommon and most individuals who notice arthritis in one joint will also have the condition in other joints.
Are bunions the same as osteoarthritis?
Most people who have bunions begin to develop some degree of abnormality within their great-toe joint, so osteoarthritis and bunions therefore do often co-exist.
What are the treatments for osteoarthritis of the foot?
In order to achieve effective treatment it is essential that the foot be biomechanically analysed. This involves a biomechanical assessment and computerised gait analysis. Once the underlying abnormal biomechanical forces are recognised, then treatment can be initiated.
Do injections work with osteoarthritis of the feet?
Injection therapy can provide relief and studies have shown that up to 60% of people benefit. Injections are far more likely to be successful if the foot is first stabilised biomechanically. For example, by receiving good orthoses.
What about cures for inflammatory arthritis?
This is a condition which should be managed in a multi-disciplinary way. It is important that you see a rheumatologist once the condition is suspected. The London Podiatry Centre works closely with rheumatologists to ensure that any drug management is immediately expedited. This is very important, as research has shown that the best results from medication are achieved when patients are treated within 12 weeks of diagnosis. There should therefore be no delay as this could result in a less predictable outcome and more serious complications.
There is also evidence that specialist orthoses can help with symptoms associated with inflammatory arthropathy, and the London Podiatry Centre will swiftly initiate treatment to stabilise the foot and improve biomechanical deficiencies which may occur.
Are there any other medical conditions associated with arthritis?
Osteoarthritis can occur as a consequence of injury. Inflammatory arthropathy is associated with a number of different conditions, including:
So how does The London Podiatry Centre treat arthritis?