Dealing with Joint Disease


At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle we find that many patients have a limited understanding of arthritis seeing it as an “old age” affliction that’s just a normal part of aging. Actually, arthritis is an umbrella term that has more than 100 different identifiable disorders associated with it. Although joint pain and stiffness is a symptom common to most types of arthritis, the severity of the symptoms and the treatment options can vary greatly.

Your feet are particularly susceptible to the debilitating effects of joint disorders for two reasons. First, there are a total of 33 joints in each foot which can be afflicted. Second, the joints in your feet are under more pressure than any other joints in your body because the carry the weight of your entire body.

Know Your Risk

In addition to wear and tear and the break down of cartilage in the joints due to age, there are several other possible causes of joint disease. These include:

  • Heredity

  • Bacterial or viral infections—pneumonia, Lyme disease, staph infections and gonorrhea all involve organisms that can cause inflammation

  • Previous injuries

  • Bowel disorders such as ileitis and colitis

  • Use of certain drugs, both prescription and illegal street drugs

  • Congenital autoimmune disease syndrome

Time to Call the Podiatrist

When treated in its early stages, arthritis can be managed, its progression slowed, and joint function preserved. Symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Early morning stiffness in your foot joints

  • Pain, soreness or tenderness in any joint

  • Swelling

  • Heat and/or redness in or near the joint

  • Difficulty bending the joint

  • Rashes, growths or other skin changes

If you notice one or more of these symptoms developing in the joints of your feet, you should make an appointment with our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, to get your feet and ankles examined. contact our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office for an appointment. Seek treatment promptly and continue to live the active life you love.