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COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

Foot Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint as cartilage is worn away and bones begin to rub against one another. As the foot contains so many bones and joints it is an area of the body highly susceptible to arthritis.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint, generating pain and stiffness. The most common form is osteoarthritis which is essentially wear and tear that reduces cartilage levels and causes bone to rub on bone. This can also produce painful bone spurs. As the foot has 28 bones with more than 30 joints, it is a prime area for the condition to develop. Regular symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness and restricted movement.

Treatment

Doctors can detect problems from gait analysis – observing walking and running patterns – and X-rays which examine the structure of the foot joints. CT or MRI scans can also be deployed to generate further information.

There are no cures for arthritis but lifestyle changes can alleviate pain and slow its progression. A series of exercises and walking aids can also help recovery. Image guided steroid injections, delivered with a local anaesthetic, are effective at reducing pain, swelling and restoring some movement for a period of months. Repeat injections every six months may be needed. An injection can also deliver top-ups of synovial fluid, the joint lubrication that acts a shock absorber, which may be deficient in people with arthritis.

In certain cases, surgery is a good option with an arthroscopy used to clean out loose cartilage, inflamed tissue, unstable joint surfaces and bone spurs via keyhole surgery known as debridement. An arthrodesis, which uses screws to join two bones together to stabilise the arthritic joint that is causing pain, can be particularly effective and can also be used on the ankle. It is carried out under general anaesthetic with the patient normally staying 24 hours in hospital being allowed home to rest and, in time, start rehabilitation.

Contact us

To ask a question, make an enquiry or book an appointment, contact our specialist team on 0207 806 4044 or footandanklespecialists@hje.org.uk, the team are available between Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Our foot and ankle team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.

If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

Foot & Ankle Clinic

This specialist team of highly experienced foot and ankle surgeons, podiatrists and physiotherapists diagnose and manage all foot and ankle related conditions and injuries.

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, ENT, as well as a private GP practice and our urgent care centre, Casualty First, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information then get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 0207 806 4044.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

 If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.

If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRI’s a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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