Baby boomers aren’t ready to slow down, even if their bodies are. If you’re a member of the Me Generation, seek care if you develop joint pain in your toes, feet or ankles. While there is no fountain of youth for a degenerative condition like arthritis, there are more medical options available than ever before. The earlier your arthritis is diagnosed, the more options are available for treatment.
The big toe joint is one of the most common parts of the foot to develop osteoarthritis. For Boomers with early stage arthritis in this joint, modern surgical procedures may provide more pain relief and increased joint movement, allowing continued activity.
Boomers with advanced and severe arthritis may need to have the joint fused or replaced. Stronger screws and hardware are helping fusions last longer, while slashing recovery times. A new generation of big toe joint replacements also shows promise.
Ankles are another prime spot for arthritis. Innovative new surgical techniques allow foot and ankle surgeons to transplant small plugs of cartilage from one part of the ankle to another in some patients, slowing joint deterioration. Ankle replacements, however, are not as durable as hip and knee replacements. The ankle is a more challenging joint to replace. It’s smaller and moves in multiple directions. But better, more promising ankle implants are hitting the market.
If you’re not ready to give up the running shoes or hiking boots, ask our office for more information on osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle.