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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory type of arthritis and a degenerative joint disease characterized by both a breakdown of cartilage and a build-up of osteophytes. The most common sites of osteoarthritis in the body is the big toe joint, followed by knees, hands and then hips.

  • Common symptoms include joint pain that is worse with activity and relieved with rest.
  • Joint stiffness that is self-limited after rest.
  • Joint movement is not smooth and can have crepitus. There is joint space narrowing on radiograph.
  • Joint is enlarged from new osteophyte formation
  • Signs of osteoarthritis in the toes can include bunions, clawed toes, hammer toes, foot stiffness and localized foot pain that does not radiate.
Risk Factors
  • Age – most people over 70 will have osteoarthritis
  • Gender – women are more likely than men to suffer from OA, especially in the hands and knees.
  • Previous joint injury – joint injury can change joint alignment and cause more overuse in certain areas
  • Obesity – increased weight will increase load on the joints, causing earlier onset of osteoarthritis.
  • Biomechanical abnormalities: deviations in foot and knee joints can cause excess wear on certain joint areas, e.g. bunions, clawed toes, genu varum (bowed legs), genu valgum (knees come inwards).
  • Pain control: ibuprofen and/or Tylenol
  • Functional improvement: e.g. physical therapy can improve joint range of motion and prevent further deterioration.
  • Goals with managing osteoarthritic symptoms include limiting painful movement and preventing deformity or further deformity from occurring.
  • Proper shoes can help accommodate arthritic bunions and hammertoes.
  • Custom orthotics can be used to control biomechanics that can further deteriorate joints, like pronation and supination. Custom orthotics can also be used to limit painful movements, especially at the large toe during gait.
  • Surgery can help fuse arthritic joints to completely minimize movements that cause pain.
Articles about Osteoarthritis by Feet First Clinic

Book an appointment for osteoarthritis

You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).