The Ouaquaga Bridge, a historic landmark which connects the towns of Windsor and Colesville here in Broome County, definitely adds charm to our community. It was elegantly-designed and constructed in 1888, featuring a distinctive lens shape on the outer frames. Because of wear and tear over time, it had to be closed to vehicular traffic in 2008. In a similar way, wear and tear on the bones of your feet could “shut you down” and require osteoarthritis treatment.
There is a mistaken impression that arthritis is a single condition. However, this medical term simply means “joint inflammation.” You may be surprised to learn that there are over 100 different conditions with this symptom that are considered forms of arthritis—the most common being osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the “wear and tear” variety of arthritis that develops over time. As such, the majority of OA cases are seen in older patients—but not all. We provide osteoarthritis treatment for many patients, using one or more of the following treatment plans:
- Medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, both oral and topical forms, acetaminophen, and steroids can all be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation in affected foot and ankle joints. There are also over-the-counter topical treatment options such as Biofreeze, and Arnica which can help reduce painful symptoms.
- Therapy. Physical and occupational therapies are focused on how the body moves and can be used to strengthen muscles, improve range of motion and flexibility, and even lower bodyweight to place less force on affected joints. Exercise may seem intimidating when your joints are already stiff and painful, but it is one of the best treatment methods for osteoarthritis.
- Steroid injections. For some patients, we may recommend a steroid injection to relieve pain, but this needs to be limited. When performed too frequently, it may worsen joint damage over time.
- Lubrication injections. Hyaluronic acid can be injected into an arthritic joint to provide additional cushioning. This tends to be more commonly used for knee joint pain, however, it is being used more and more to treat arthritic foot joints.
- Surgery. Our hope is always that conservative care will provide desired results, but sometimes surgical procedures are necessary. These include arthroscopy, joint resurfacing, and joint replacements, and joint fusions.
If osteoarthritis is causing difficulties or pain in your lower limbs, our staff at Southern Tier Podiatry will create a treatment plan to provide relief. It is our intention to use conservative care options, but we also perform successful surgical procedures when they are necessary. Your path to arthritis pain relief begins by scheduling an appointment with our Vestal, NY office. Either give us a call at (607) 217-5668 or schedule yours online today!