How to treat foot arthrosis

Arthrosis of the joints of the foot has the following symptoms:

  • crunching and characteristic clicks when walking;
  • redness and swelling, inflammation of the surface of the affected joint;
  • increase in temperature of the affected area of ​​the foot, joint;
  • restriction in foot movement, pain when walking;
  • the sensitivity of the foot decreases and the shape of the joint itself changes, they thicken.

Most often, arthrosis of the foot affects the big toe – this can be caused by the unusual structure of the foot, the result of wearing tight shoes, trauma, a genetic predisposition and a malfunction in the metabolic processes of the body, in the work of the thyroid gland and gonad, and so on.

Osteoarthritis of the foot often affects the big toe

Stages of the disease

Arthrosis of the foot, a photo of which can be found both on the Internet or in special medical literature, shows clearly how much the foot can be bent and therefore it is not worth starting treatment. Doctors distinguish 3 stages:

1 degree – at this stage of the course of the disease, it manifests itself periodically and, as a rule, after excessive load on the legs. Speaking of symptoms – at the first stage, they do not appear outwardly.

2 degree manifests itself more pronounced, more regular pain attacks, movements are difficult. Outwardly, the pathology manifests itself with some consolidation of the joint, as well as its increase in size, the formation of the so-called bone. If the patient spends a long time on his feet – the pain becomes severe, severe swelling appears and the temperature rises.

3 degree. At this stage of the disease, not only the fingers, but the entire foot, the thumb is severely deformed, the pain disturbs the patient, even if the latter is just resting. When walking, there is a load on the outer edges of the foot, corns appear on the foot, gait is altered, there is severe lameness.

Treatment of foot arthrosis

With regard to the course of treatment, it can be traditional, non-traditional, treatment through physiotherapeutic procedures, but if necessary, a surgical method for the treatment of arthrosis can be prescribed. It is about them that we will discuss below.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Traditional treatment

In the process of treatment, for the most part, doctors resort to traditional medicine and its methods of treatment. At the very beginning, it is worth changing the shoes to comfortable and soft, as well as normalizing your weight if the patient is diagnosed with one or another degree of obesity. Such measures will reduce the load on the foot and strengthen drug treatment.

Often, foot arthrosis is treated with a course of taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or ortofen – they successfully relieve pain attacks and inflammatory processes. If such treatment does not give a result, doctors prescribe the introduction of steroid medications into the joint.

Doctors also prescribe a course of taking hodoprotectors – they can be prevented by stopping the deformation of the affected joints and cartilage, preventing their subsequent destruction, along with this they can strengthen them. In addition, doctors prescribe an ointment for osteoarthritis of the foot as an external remedy – as an external remedy, such ointments will warm the joint, relieve bouts of pain and swelling, acting as a local, external anesthetic. For the most part, among all drugs, doctors most often prescribe such ointments for foot arthrosis as Menovazin and Apizatron, Viprosal, and so on.

Physiotherapeutic procedures

Physiotherapeutic procedures are not a separate course of treatment – they rather serve as a complement to the traditional, basic treatment course. Such procedures will remove negative symptoms and strengthen the main course of treatment. As a rule, among many procedures, the following are used:

Ultraviolet irradiation – this particular method will allow you to relieve a pain attack and accelerate recovery, removing inflammation. Such irradiation is carried out 1-2 times a day, depending on the degree of joint damage.

Therapy with the infrared spectrum of the laser – in this case, there is a direct effect on the nerve endings, reducing their sensitivity, and also improves blood flow in the affected foot and has a sedative effect.

Low-intensity therapy with ultrasonic waves – with the help of such a physiotherapeutic procedure, swelling and pain of affected joints are successfully removed.

If all the treatment prescribed above does not produce its result, a radical surgical intervention is prescribed. In this case, doctors either fix the bone and thus immobilize the joint or replace it with an artificial implant – it is extremely rare to treat this method with foot arthrosis.

Traditional medicine in the fight against arthrosis of the feet

Folk remedies for foot arthrosis also give a positive result and in their effectiveness are practically not inferior to the medical course. But it’s still worth using them, after consulting with your doctor first – several recipes are presented at your discretion.

Method of preparation: All ingredients are taken in equal parts and mixed.
Application: Apply at night to the affected joint. Wash off with water in the morning.

  • Alcohol – 500 ml;
  • Eucalyptus – 100 grams.

Method of preparation: Eucalyptus is added to alcohol or vodka and allowed to infuse for 7 days in a dark place. Strain before use.
Application: Every evening, before going to bed, tincture is rubbed into the affected joint.

Osteoarthrosis of the feet and its difference from arthrosis

Osteoarthrosis of the foot, a photo of which can be found on the Internet or in special medical literature, is often confused with arthrosis, considering such terms identical. But these pathologies are not equivalent and there are differences between these diseases.

Osteoarthrosis is a form of arthrosis that develops as a result of deformation of the cartilage tissue on the surface of the joint. Osteoarthrosis of the feet has its own differences from arthrosis, namely:

Osteoarthrosis develops due to deformation of the cartilage tissue on the surface of the joint.

  • arthrosis involves the deformation, destruction of the joint, cartilage, and osteoarthritis – as a form of arthrosis, which provides for a separate period of its course and begins only with the development of deformation of the cartilage tissue.
  • their causes may be different. For example, if arthrosis is inherited, then osteoarthritis will develop more likely with mechanical overload of the foot joint.
  • the appearance of nodules – when an ultrasound or x-ray confirms their appearance on the joint, then doctors unambiguously diagnose osteoarthritis.
  • the place of the lesion – since arthrosis can affect any joint, then osteoarthritis mostly affects the fingers or toes.

Degree of defeat

When diagnosing osteoarthrosis, doctors distinguish 3 degrees of development of pathology.

  1. Osteoarthrosis of the joints of the feet of the 1st degree – the initial stage, when pain attacks are not very pronounced, rolling in waves, concentrating in the toes. Symptoms at this stage are practically absent and therefore it is problematic to diagnose the disease.
  2. Osteoarthrosis of the joints of the feet of the 2nd degree is easier to diagnose, since a thickening on the toes is noticeable, bouts of pain are pronounced, not letting go even in a calm state.
  3. Osteoarthrosis of the joints of the feet of the 3rd degree is the last stage of the disease, in which the movement of the foot, walking is very difficult, the deformation becomes very noticeable, and the thumb is practically immobilized and lowered down. Attacks of pain – continuous, are unbearable.

What treatment will the doctor prescribe for foot arthrosis?

Arthrosis is a disease that affects every 2 adults. And some do not even know that they are ill. Since the 1st and 2nd stage of deformation of the joint practically does not manifest itself. Basically, this disease affects the knee and ankle joints. Since most of the burden lies with them, in addition, they are most often injured. Deforming arthrosis of the foot is not as dangerous as gonarthrosis, but also brings discomfort, and requires treatment. Therefore, everyone should know how to treat foot arthrosis at home and what preventive measures will help to avoid it.

Characteristic of the disease

Bone joints contain inter-articular fluid, which softens friction. External and internal negative factors lead to a change in the consistency of the liquid. It becomes thick, and eventually withers completely. Because of this, cartilage tissue begins to wear out and the joint is damaged.

Negative factors that provoke the development of the disease of the joints of the foot:

  1. Age-related changes in the body.
  2. Injury to the joints: fracture of the big toe, injury to the small joints of the foot, falling from a great height.
  3. Constant load on the connections.
  4. Deficiency of nutrients in the body.
  5. Diseases causing changes in the body: diabetes mellitus, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and liver diseases.
  6. Exposure to extremely low temperature on a limb.
  7. Hereditary predisposition.
  8. Excess weight that increases the load on the bone joint.

The main reason that provokes the development of deforming arthrosis of the foot of a woman is uncomfortable shoes and the frequent wearing of shoes with heels.

The disease of the joints of the foot does not make itself felt in the early stages, since its symptoms are practically not manifested. The characteristic signs of foot arthrosis depends on the stage of the inflammatory process and on the affected area: big toe, inflammation of the small joints of the foot, damage to the middle sections of the foot.

The main signs of deforming osteoarthritis are the following:

  1. Crunch and creak of articulation during movement.
  2. Inflammation and redness of the skin around the big toe or other area.
  3. Swelling of the big toe, midfoot.
  4. Increased body temperature.
  5. Seals and nodules appear on the foot, mainly around the big toe.
  6. Stiffness of articulation, limited movement.
  7. Articulation deformation.
  8. Gait change.
  9. Pain, which is mainly felt when the disease has developed to stages 2 and 3.
  10. Increased fatigue.

In the early stages, the signs of the disease practically do not appear, only occasionally pain is felt.

You can only find out about the disease in the early stages by conducting a medical examination. In order to start treating foot arthrosis in the early stages, you need to do an x-ray and computed tomography of the foot, big toe and small joints of the foot.

Arthrosis Treatment Basics

It is necessary to treat foot arthrosis comprehensively. When diagnosing foot arthrosis, hospitalization is not required, but foot arthrosis should be treated under strict medical supervision. The doctor will determine the degree of deformation of the bone compound; will prescribe drugs that must be taken in order to treat the disease, and will monitor the effectiveness of the treatment. The treatment includes not only the use of medications, but also the following:

  1. A special diet, it is especially important for people with a lot of weight.
  2. Physiotherapy.
  3. Gymnastics and special exercises.
  4. Massage using medicinal herbs and essential oils.
  5. Water procedures.
  6. Use of external products.
  7. Folk remedies.

In order to effectively treat foot arthrosis, you must definitely use medical supplies. You can treat foot arthrosis at home, but only by constantly monitoring the progress of therapy. It is allowed to treat arthrosis with folk remedies at home, and you can even replace them with some medications, but only after obtaining the permission of the doctor.

How to treat arthrosis with medications?

To treat deforming arthrosis, you need to start with medication. The doctor will prescribe drugs, taking into account the individual characteristics of the person, the stage of the disease and the condition of the joint. Medications are used for oral administration, as an external agent, or for injection into the joint.

With arthrosis of the big toe and small joints of the foot, the following types of medications are used:

  1. Vasodilator drugs.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  3. Handroprotectors.
  4. Hormone medications.
  5. Vitamin complexes.

To find out how to treat foot arthrosis, it is necessary to conduct a diagnosis. A doctor can prescribe several types of drugs at once. It is forbidden to independently treat deforming arthrosis of the foot. In addition, medications will not be sold without a doctor’s prescription.

Handoprotectors and vitamin preparations to treat joint disease is desirable in the early stages of the disease. With their help, you can achieve remission of the disease. These drugs protect cartilage and prevent further destruction of cartilage and bone. But practically do not help from pain and inflammation. Chondroprotectors are used for a long time, in some cases they need to be treated for more than a year.

They will not help to achieve remission, but they will help to cope with pain and inflammation. Treat foot arthrosis with courses. It is impossible to treat these arthrosis of the big toe and other parts of the foot with these medicines for a long time, since they accelerate the destructive processes. It is advisable that the injections be given under the supervision of a physician.

Special diet for the treatment of arthrosis

One of the reasons for the development of deforming arthrosis of the big toe and other parts of the feet is the lack of nutrients. And in order to effectively treat it, you must definitely change the diet and follow a diet. Nutrition during joint deformation should be balanced and beneficial. You need to take food several times a day (4-5 times), in small portions.

The following products must be included in the diet:

  1. Low-fat meat, preferably chicken.
  2. Seafood.
  3. Dairy products, but non-greasy.
  4. Cereals.
  5. Nuts.
  6. Eggs.
  7. Fresh vegetables and fruits, in particular: cabbage of all kinds, greens, apples, apricots, carrots, beets. With the exception of sorrel and tomatoes.
  8. Freshly squeezed juices and fresh juices.

With deforming arthrosis, it is forbidden to use the following products:

  1. Fatty and smoked meat, lard.
  2. High-fat dairy products.
  3. Flour and sweet.
  4. Preservatives and pickles.
  5. Mayonnaise.
  6. Alcohol and carbonated drinks, strong coffee and tea.

Also, with deforming arthrosis of the big toe and other parts of the foot, it is forbidden to eat fast food. It is advisable to use dishes containing gelatin and collagen: jelly, jelly, etc.

Is it possible to treat deforming osteoarthrosis with folk remedies?

It is allowed to treat deforming arthrosis of the foot with folk remedies at home. But treating the disease with the help of folk remedies is possible only with the permission of a doctor. Folk remedies used at home are effective for deforming arthrosis of the foot, and also do not harm other organs.

Folk remedies that can be used to treat arthrosis:

  1. Infusions.
  2. Compresses
  3. Ointments made at home.
  4. Articulation rubbing with herbs.

It is possible to treat inflammation of bone joints with folk remedies only in the early stages of the disease. For deforming arthrosis of small joints of the foot, the following medicinal herbs are used: chamomile, birch, aloe, fern, burdock, saberfish, eucalyptus. These plants mix, grind, or infuse with alcohol, water, or honey. Other diseases can be treated with these herbs, in addition, they favorably affect the state of the body.


Physiotherapy is one of the main elements of the treatment of deforming arthrosis. Physiotherapy is mainly carried out by a doctor in a medical institution. But it can be carried out at home, but only with the permission of the doctor. Physiotherapy involves rubbing special drugs into the affected area. For this purpose, the following drugs can be used:

  1. Bischofite.
  2. Healing clay.
  3. Special bile.
  4. And other drugs prescribed by your doctor.

The first few times, you need to carry out physiotherapy for inflammation of the joints of the foot, at home, under the supervision of a doctor. After the presence of a doctor is no longer required.

Gymnastics and exercise

Some people believe that exercise is prohibited when the joints of the foot are deformed. However, this is not so; gymnastics and physical exercises are needed in order to effectively treat inflammation of the joint. The training program should be a doctor or specialist in this field.

Exercises should not load the joints, but should increase its mobility and normalize blood circulation in the inflamed area. Training can be carried out at home, but with full compliance with all requirements and recommendations. When performing exercises, you should follow the execution technique.

Water treatments and massage

It is possible to treat deforming arthrosis of the foot in pleasant ways, using water procedures and massage. For this, it is not necessary to constantly visit saunas and baths. You can treat diseases of bone compounds simply by taking a bath with essential oils and salt.

Massage is also done using essential oils and herbs. You can conduct a massage yourself at home. But before that, it is important to carefully familiarize yourself with the technique of performing massage.

Deforming arthrosis of the small joints of the foot brings severe discomfort to a person. The disease makes itself felt only at stages 2 and 3. In addition to constant pain and swelling, nodules and bumps appear near the big toe. It is impossible to get rid of them without surgery. Therefore, treatment must begin in the early stages.

It is necessary to treat inflammation of the small joints of the foot in a comprehensive manner, including: drug treatment, alternative therapy, physiotherapy, gymnastics, massage and water procedures.

It is possible to treat arthrosis of the big toe and small joints of the foot at home and with folk remedies, but only under the constant supervision of a doctor. It is necessary to constantly monitor the progress of therapy in order to treat arthrosis effectively.

How to cure foot arthrosis

Arthrosis of the foot – a chronic pathology of the joints, which occurs with the destruction of cartilage and inflammatory processes in the soft tissues. Arthrosis can begin to develop against the background of other diseases, such as diabetes or varicose veins, which cause a deterioration in blood microcirculation in the tissues and metabolic disorders in this area. To prevent irreversible consequences, it is important to consult a doctor at the initial stage of the development of pathology. How to treat foot arthrosis at home and when surgery is required, we will consider in more detail.


Arthrosis of the foot can be cured only by the complex method, using medications, performing exercise therapy prescribed by the attending physician, massage, wearing special shoes, and proper nutrition.

Medications are the basis for the treatment of foot arthrosis. The attending physician prescribes various drugs, which together help to get rid of the unpleasant symptoms of the disease and accelerate recovery. For example, they can prescribe a reception:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help to eliminate pain symptoms and other manifestations of the inflammatory process (these do not eliminate the underlying disease, but only help ease its course; this group includes drugs such as Menovazin, Ibuprofen and Ortofen);
  • analgesic drugs, which are used mainly at the 2nd stage of the development of arthrosis, when the pain becomes severe and interferes with the person’s usual lifestyle (Nikoflex, Apizatron, Viprosal, etc. can be attributed to this group of drugs);
  • chondroprotectors, which contribute to the restoration of damaged cartilage tissue and include substances that are in human cartilage (those are effective only at the initial stage of development of pathology and are taken for a long course; this group includes drugs Don, Arthra, Structum, etc.) ;
  • vitamin preparations that contain minerals that are useful for immunity, which increase the body’s defenses and normalize metabolic processes (for example, they can prescribe the intake of such vitamin-mineral complexes as Oligovit, Vitrum, Bishofit, etc.).

Therapeutic exercise complex

Treatment of arthrosis of the foot can be carried out at home by the method of performing physical therapy.

Exercise therapy is prescribed for arthrosis of any area, including the upper extremities (more about finger arthrosis can be found here). Systematic exercise will help to achieve the following results:

  • reduce the intensity of the pain syndrome;
  • strengthening muscles and ligaments of the limbs;
  • improve blood circulation in the tissues around the inflamed joint;
  • improving nutrition of periarticular cartilage.

To achieve the greatest efficiency from performing physical exercises, experts recommend adhering to some rules. First of all, it is necessary to remember that the exercise therapy should take place regularly, or rather, daily. Gymnastics is performed several times a day for about 20 minutes in one session.

There are no age restrictions for doing exercises. Exercise therapy is prescribed for both older people and children

You should not immediately begin to perform complex exercises, it is better to start with the simplest ones, which are easy to repeat for a beginner in this matter. It is recommended to increase the load gradually, starting with slow movements. Breathing during exercise therapy should be even and calm.

Specialists prescribe therapeutic gymnastics only after stopping the acute stage of the disease and eliminating clearly expressed symptoms. Do not continue to exercise if there is pain in the joint. In this case, it is advisable to reduce the amplitude of movements or even complete the exercise therapy so as not to injure the tissue.

At the beginning of the exercise therapy, the specialist prescribes exercises performed in a supine position. Over time, they switch to a physical complex performed sitting on a chair, and then using gymnastic apparatus.


In combination with exercise therapy, it is recommended to carry out massage, which is considered one of the most effective methods of getting rid of foot arthrosis. Performing massage movements contributes to a beneficial effect on the nerves and muscles, thereby contributing to improved blood circulation in the affected area.

The main advantages of this technique can be considered the opportunity:

  • reduce pain and stiffness in the joints;
  • elimination of joint stiffness and limitation of its mobility;
  • improving trophic tissue of the joint and preventing the development of muscle hypertrophy.

In the event that arthrosis of the feet is supplemented with flat feet, clubfoot or painful attacks, massage should be performed on the entire limb, starting from the femoral region.

Massage can be carried out both by yourself and trust a specialist in this matter.

Consider the methodology for performing massage movements in the areas of the foot:

  • sole: starting from the thumb, with the fingertips of the fingers carry out light pressure towards the heel, and back light strokes are carried out;
  • the outer edge of the foot: carry out light pressure, starting with the little finger and moving towards the calcaneus;
  • heel: carry out soft, deep or quick massage with bones or pads of the fingers.

Orthopedic shoes

It is also necessary to treat arthrosis and osteoarthritis of the foot by wearing orthopedic shoes, which greatly accelerates recovery. With the help of orthopedic insoles and arch supports, you can create the correct support and additional cushioning of the foot, fix the ankle in the correct position, and prevent further deformation.

If you wear the wrong shoes during the development of arthrosis, you can only aggravate the course of the underlying disease, increase the risk of corns and corns, and worsen your general well-being. Shoes should not be cramped, their length and width should be in accordance with the length and width of the foot. The distance between the thumb and toe of any shoe should be at least a centimeter. The sole is only flexible and elastic.

Insoles must be made to order, based on individual features of the structure of the foot

Proper nutrition

Of course, a diet with the development of arthrosis is not the main method of therapy, but such will help to ease its course and make up for the lack of substances useful for joints in the body. So, proper nutrition should look like this:

  • fried food is not included in the diet, it is better to cook products by steam, boil, bake or stew;
  • It is recommended to eat often, but in small portions, which will help to eliminate overeating and weight gain;
  • while eating, you don’t need to rush but chew products thoroughly, which will allow you to quickly saturate the body;
  • while eating, you should make small pauses, which will prevent overeating.

The following foods will be useful for joints: chicken, duck meat, low-fat fish, skim milk products, greens, nuts, bread, buckwheat and rice, fruits and vegetables, freshly squeezed juices, eggs, cheese.

The following foods should not be included in the diet of an arthrosis patient: pastries, pork and beef, sour milk products, fatty fish, muffins, alcohol, strong coffee and tea, ice cream, crackers and chips, spices, soda, marinade, smoked meats, mayonnaise and ketchup, vegetable oil, pasta.

Operative therapy

The operation is prescribed if conservative methods have not brought the desired recovery or if the pain is so strong that conventional drugs and injections of potent anesthetics do not bring relief. With the help of surgery, you can not only save a person from unpleasant symptoms, but also completely restore the functioning of the inflamed joint.

What type of surgical intervention is suitable for this or that person is determined taking into account the degree of development of pathological changes, the functional requirements of the patient, the age of the person, concomitant pathologies and other factors. To avoid the need for surgery and confine ourselves to a conservative technique, you must consult a specialist as soon as possible with the first symptoms that arise.

Arthrosis of the joints of the foot and its treatment

Arthrosis of the foot is a chronic, slowly progressive disease that affects the small interphalangeal joints of the feet, leads to their destruction, deformation of the fingers and other parts of the feet. If treatment is not started in time, the disease significantly worsens the quality of life of patients, and can also cause disability.

Osteoarthrosis is a systemic process, that is, all joints of the body suffer to one degree or another, but those joints that undergo heavy loads daily are more prone to destruction. In some people, this is the knees, in others – the hip joints, and in others – the joints and bones of the foot. What type of arthrosis develops in a particular patient depends on several factors, for example, gender and age, type of activity, lifestyle, presence of genetic tendency, concomitant diseases and metabolic disorders.

Most often, arthrosis of the small joints of the foot develops in women aged 40-50 years (a special risk factor is walking in high heels and shoes with a narrow toe). Men suffer from this form of arthrosis much less frequently.

The sooner you identify a problem, the easier it is to deal with it. Indeed, with arthritic changes in the joints of the initial degree, a completely successful conservative treatment is possible, but if the process has gone far, a pronounced deformation of the feet has developed, their support function has been disrupted, only surgery can help.

Causes and risk factors

Depending on the causes of the development of deforming arthrosis of the feet, distinguish:

  1. Primary arthrosis – when there is no obvious reason for the development of degenerative-dystrophic changes in the joints, it is not possible to find a connection with any disease that could serve as a starting point for the development of the disease. In such cases, they speak of a genetic tendency to arthrosis, which manifests itself in the special structure of the skeleton of the feet (for example, the wide foot), and risk factors also matter. The more of them, the higher the chance of getting sick.
  2. Secondary arthrosis – develops as a result of some primary ailment. For example, most often one has to deal with post-traumatic osteoarthrosis after injuries), it also affects people with congenital or acquired deformities and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, for example, with flat feet, curvature of the spine, etc.

You should know that at this time the exact causes and mechanisms of the development of osteoarthrosis are not yet known. Scientists believe that the culprit of this ailment is the aging of the body. This is confirmed by the fact that in most cases arthrosis begins to be detected at the age of 40-50 years, and with each subsequent year lived, its number increases.

But this does not explain why the disease develops in young people. In the second case, specialists assign the main role not to the aging of cartilage tissue, but to its increased wear. Such people almost always reveal one or more risk factors. Here are the main ones:

  • the special structure of the skeleton of the feet (narrow or wide foot, high arch, the presence of flat feet);
  • overweight;
  • violation of posture and various deformations of the spinal column;
  • daily excess loads on the legs, for example, work associated with long walking or standing, professional sports;
  • “Addiction” to shoes with high heels, with a narrow toe;
  • a history of traumatic damage to the joints of the legs;
  • metabolic and endocrine disorders;
  • inflammatory diseases of the joints, osteochondropathy and other lesions of the articular apparatus;
  • hereditary addiction to this disease;
  • irrational and unbalanced nutrition;
  • high growth in humans.

If a person has risk factors for foot arthrosis, this does not mean that he will become ill. Their definition is necessary, first of all, for carrying out preventive measures. And in the case of an already present ailment, getting rid of predisposing factors helps to stop the pathological process and recover.

Signs of foot arthrosis and the degree of the disease

Symptoms of the disease depend on its stage, as well as on the individual characteristics of the patient. As a rule, arthrosis begins imperceptibly and slowly, but steadily progresses, if nothing is done. There are 3 degrees of arthrosis.

Osteoarthritis 1 degrees

Most often, the disease is not diagnosed at this stage, since there are no distinct signs. Patients may complain of tiredness or discomfort in the feet after a long stay in an upright position or walking, pain rarely develops. All pathological sensations disappear after rest. This becomes the cause of misconceptions, and most perceive such a state of health as usual overwork, but only such symptoms are repeated very often, which should become a cause of alertness. Sometimes a crunch may develop during movements, but it also happens in healthy people.

Osteoarthritis 2 degrees

It is at this stage that the diagnosis is most often established. The pain becomes more intense, it bothers not only after strong, but also normal stresses, and does not go away for a long time at rest. People begin to use various painkillers, which at first cope well with pain.

The second common complaint is an increase in shoe size, which is associated with a thickening of the heads of the bones of the feet and the growth of connective tissue around damaged joints. It is at this moment that the deformation of the fingers begins. Most often, the first finger suffers – halus valgus develops. This is a specific deformation, which is manifested by the deviation of the thumb to the outer edge of the foot and bulging of the head of the metatarsal bone outward. In everyday life, it is simply called a “bone”. This greatly complicates the selection of shoes and is a significant cosmetic defect. Especially about the bone, women are worried.

Osteoarthritis 3 degrees

At the last stage of the development of arthrosis, the pain becomes constant, various analgesics cease to help. Pronounced deformities of the fingers develop, mobility in the joints of the foot is lost. This causes a violation of the support function of the foot or even its complete loss. In patients, the gait changes, the uniform distribution of body weight is disrupted, as a result, other joints of the legs, as well as the spine, suffer.

It is not difficult to establish a diagnosis of osteoarthrosis of the feet at stages 2 and 3, when typical deformities are present. It is much more difficult to do this at the very beginning of the disease. To this end, radiography of the joints of the feet is used, where narrowing of the joint spaces, subchondral cystic formations, joint deformities, marginal bone growths are found.

If a specialist has any doubts and it is necessary to conduct differential diagnosis, then an MRI or CT scan is prescribed.

How to treat foot arthrosis?

Treatment of deforming arthrosis of the foot includes conservative and surgical techniques. Therapy always begins with the first measures, and if they are ineffective, they begin surgical correction of defects.

Nutrition and Lifestyle

A special diet for foot arthrosis is not needed. It is important that the food is balanced in basic macronutrients, vitamins and trace elements. If there is such a problem as overweight, you need to reduce the calorie content of the daily diet, to minimize the use of animal fats and simple carbohydrates, since extra pounds is a serious risk factor for arthrosis.

As for the lifestyle, it must be modified in such a way as to exclude or minimize the influence of negative factors, revise your shoes and give preference to orthopedic models.

Drug treatment of arthrosis of the joints of the foot

Drug treatment is not the main one, its purpose is to alleviate the pain syndrome so that the patient can engage in, for example, special exercises for foot arthrosis. Also, some medicines are used to slow the development of pathological changes and improve joint mobility, but their effectiveness has not yet been proven.

For the treatment of osteoarthritis, drugs from the following groups are used:

  • analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, diclofenac, paracetamol, nimesulide, meloxicam, aceclofenac, etc.);
  • chondroprotectors, the active substance of which are chondroitin and glucosamine (Don, Structum, Teraflex, Alflutop);
  • glucocorticoid drugs are used for severe pain for joint blockade (Diprospan, Kenalog).

Medicines are used both for internal and parenteral administration (tablets, capsules, injectable solutions), and for local (ointments, gels, creams, plasters).

Other conservative treatments

Comprehensive therapy necessarily includes such techniques:

  • physiotherapy;
  • massage and other manual methods of exposure;
  • physiotherapy (laser therapy, magnetotherapy, phonophoresis, UHF, mud wraps, paraffin and ozokerite applications);
  • conservative orthopedic methods of correction of deformation (tires for the thumb, interdigital septum, orthopedic insoles and shoes).

Such therapy allows you to stop the progression of the disease, limit the deformation of the fingers, increase mobility in the joints, and prevent the development of persistent pain syndrome.

Folk remedies

Treatment with folk remedies can be used as an addition to the main one at all stages of the disease. But in no case should it be the main and only. All methods of alternative treatment are mainly aimed at reducing pain with arthrosis, but they do not affect the progression of the disease. It is also important before using any remedy (there are a lot of them) to consult a doctor about the advisability and lack of individual contraindications for this particular recipe.


Surgical treatment of foot arthrosis is prescribed for severe deformities that cannot be corrected conservatively, as well as for a patient with a cosmetic defect.

Arthroplastic operations are used, which allow you to return the old look to the foot, as well as fully resume its function. Today, such interventions are performed using endoscopic and minimally invasive techniques, which greatly simplifies and shortens the time of postoperative rehabilitation.

Arthrosis of the foot is not only an external cosmetic defect, but a serious pathology that can cause a significant deterioration in the quality of human life, and in some cases even disability. Therefore, if you identify any alarming symptoms, be sure to seek help from a specialist.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues