Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis

Exercise can help keep your feet pain-free, strong, and flexible. Exercises that can be good for your feet include:

  • Achilles stretch. With your palms flat on a wall, lean against the wall and place one foot forward and one foot back. Lean forward, leaving your heels on the floor. You can feel the pull in your Achilles tendon and your calf. Repeat this exercise three times, holding for 10 seconds on each repeat.
  • Big-toe stretch. Place a thick rubber band around your big toes. Pull the big toes away from each other and toward the other toes. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
  • Toe pull. Place a rubber band around the toes of each foot, and then spread your toes. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
  • Toe curl. Pick up marbles with your toes.

Is Surgery an Option for Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis?

More than one kind of surgery may be required to treat foot and ankle osteoarthritis. Your doctor can select the kind of surgery that is best for you, depending on the extent of your arthritis. The following are some of the surgical options for foot and ankle osteoarthritis:

  • Fusion surgery. This kind of surgery, also called arthrodesis, involves fusing bones together with the use of rods, pins, screws, or plates. After healing, the bones remain fused together.
  • Joint replacement surgery. This kind of surgery involves replacing the ankle joint with artificial implants and is used only in rare cases.

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