How to Best Treat Foot Arthritis with Seattle Podiatrist Larry Huppin

Author: Foot & Ankle Center of Washington

Hi. So today we're going to talk about arthritis on top of the foot or what's called midfoot arthritis. That's arthritis in these joints through here. This is the second most common cause that we see causing pain on the top of the foot. The first one is a condition called dorsal compression syndrome, which just means that the foot is collapsing down and all these bones get pressed together too much but there's no actual damage to the joint. For information on that problem, go to our website and do a search for "dorsal compression syndrome" or "top of foot pain." However, today we're going to talk about arthritis in these joints. So long-term, this foot flattening out too much can start to damage these joints.

As the foot goes down, all these bones get pressed together. Initially it just causes pain, but over time, it starts to wear away the cartilage on the inside of these joints, and that can cause a lot of pain. So after that occurs, almost any motion in this area will start to cause pain. Also, a lot of times people will see a bump, a bone occurring on top of the foot associated with that arthritis. When we look at treating it, our first goal is to avoid surgery and still eliminate a 100% of the pain. You really should look at surgery as only the very, very last resort.

And in most cases, in fact, in almost all cases, we can treat this without doing surgery. Our goal here is to limit motion in these joints, so what we're going to do is put something under the arch of the foot. We're going to take an orthotic device, put it underneath there, and we're going to try and use that to stop the motion in that joint. For that to work the best, we want that orthotic to conform extremely close to the arch of the foot.

It's called a total contact orthotic. Again, you can look up "total contact orthotic" on our website. That type of orthotic does the best job of limiting motion in this area. If that's not enough, we can actually do some shoe modifications where we put what's called the rocker on the bottom of your shoe to limit the motion in that foot. This is a big orthotic that we might use in a men's dress shoe or in anybody's athletic shoe.

How to Best Treat Foot Arthritis with Seattle Podiatrist Larry Huppin

For women's dress shoes, we can use much, much smaller devices, as we aren't going to a flat or a heel, but the key is that still conforms very close to the arch of the foot. So if you think you might have arthritis in your mid-foot, what you want to do first is find a podiatrist in your area who specializes in orthotics and biomechanics. If you're in our area, go to our website and you can find contact information there. If you're not in our area, look for someone who has that specialty.

If you want to try and treat this yourself, go to our website and do a search for "self-treatment for midfoot arthritis" or "self-treatment for foot arthritis" and you'll find all kinds of hints there, we'll recommend some over-the-counter arch supports you can try instead of the custom ones. We'll recommend some types of shoes you can use and a number of different things you can do initially to try and treat this problem.

How to Best Treat Foot Arthritis with Seattle Podiatrist Larry Huppin

Hi. So today we're going to talk about arthritis on top of the foot or what's called midfoot arthritis. That's arthritis in these joints through here. This is the second…

By: Foot & Ankle Center of Washington