Is Your Foot Pain a Sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and if you ask anyone living with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), they will tell you that it’s a devastating diagnosis to receive because it is an incurable disease that can cause joint deformity and severe pain. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is delving deeper into a painful condition.

The good news is that today the treatment options available are the most advanced they have ever been, and they are actually allowing many people with arthritis to live full and active lives.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

With arthritis, the immune system assaults the body’s joint tissues, causing inflammation, which can result in gradual damage to affected joints. The immune system attacks the fluid within the joints as well as the joint lining, which then becomes acutely inflamed, causing a swollen and warm joint.

If left untreated, continued inflammation eventually causes bone and cartilage to erode, which leads to deformed joints and diminished range of motion. Additionally, the muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround and stabilize the joints may weaken.

Parts of the Foot Affected by Arthritis

When it comes to the feet, RA typically affects the toe joints, causing a gradual outward shift in the toes and bunions to develop. It may also cause the forefoot to shift, resulting in a loss of stability, which leads to conditions such as hammertoes.

These changes in toe-joint flexibility often cause calluses and pain under the ball of the foot and make finding comfortable shoes more difficult, resulting in the need for custom orthotics.

Other Foot Conditions Associated with Arthritis

Heel pain: This is a common problem for people with arthritis that can strike at the back of the heel resulting in plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or bursitis.

Nerve entrapment: When the joint lining becomes inflamed, the swelling can cause symptoms of a pinched nerve, also referred to as nerve entrapment.

Rheumatoid nodules: This typically appears as a bump located beneath the skin, usually over a bony lump or tendon. It can grow over the Achilles tendon or on the side of the big toe if a bunion is present.

Skin rash: The inflammation associated with RA can cause wounds or rashes on the lower legs.

A close relationship with Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists – who will work to stop joint damage, alleviate pain and inflammation, and improve your sense of well-being – will ensure the best possible outcome throughout the course of your disease. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your next visit or schedule an appointment online so we can discuss your treatment options.

Running Through the Foot Pain Can Cause Permanent Damage!

One of the most challenging things for a runner to decide is when it’s acceptable to run through pain vs. when it’s time to ease up a bit. It’s very common for runners to feel various pains and aches due to sore muscles, so not every pain felt will be a substantial cause for concern. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing important information regarding the permanent damage that can result from running through your foot pain.

There are times when it’s necessary to pay attention to what your body is saying to avoid any long-term, or even permanent, damage. Pain appears in various forms, making it challenging to determine what is causing it.

So if pain can be misleading, is it okay to just keep running when you’re in significant foot pain? And if you do decide to keep going, does that put you at risk of permanent nerve damage?

The correct answer will depend upon where you’re experiencing the pain, and how severe it is. If you run often and are experiencing unexplained pain coursing through your foot, you may a nerve issue.

Injured Nerves

When a nerve is injured or irritated, it can cause weakness, loss of motor function, numbness, burning sensations, or shooting pain through your foot. If you have any of these symptoms, you should not continue to run, as this may exacerbate the injury, possibly causing more permanent damage.

In some cases, muscle inflammation from overuse can lead to nerve problems. This condition can have an effect on various areas of the foot and is often treated with cortisone injections.

Another condition known as neuroma affects the nerve located between the toes, making it difficult to put weight on the ball of the foot. Repetitive and excessive high-impact exercises can further irritate neuroma, and cortisone injections are also used to treat this condition.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that if something is so painful that it’s hard for you to walk on it, you should not be running on it. And while it may be tempting to just power through, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to maintaining your good health.

If you’re experiencing pain when running, don’t take chances by powering through it. Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

 

 

 

An Exciting New “Fix” for Achilles Tendinitis and Plantar Fasciitis

Foot problems cannot only be incapacitating, but they can also be quite frustrating at times. Many sufferers have tried everything from corticosteroid injections to acupuncture only to find temporary relief from their pain. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing news about a new treatment for common foot problems.

Plantar fasciitis affects more than one million people each year, and Achilles tendinitis plagues many runners and athletes. There is now a new treatment option called Amnio-Fix to help patients recover.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive regarding the Amnio-Fix injection:

  • What is Amnio-Fix? Amnio-Fix is a human-derived composite tissue membrane that is made from donated tissue. It is taken from healthy, consenting mothers who have had cesarean sections. Once the tissue has been cleaned, sterilized, and dehydrated, it is blended with sterile saline to produce an injectable mixture that possesses amazing healing capabilities.
  • Is it Safe? There have been no accounts of serious side effects or complications to date. Patients may face some minor discomfort near the injection site for up to three days, but it can be managed using ice and elevation to reduce any swelling.
  • How Does Amnio-Fix Differ from Other Treatments? An Amnio-Fix injection is different from platelet-rich plasma injections and corticosteroid injections because it helps regenerate damaged tissue.

Corticosteroid shots are typically administered after other conventional treatments methods fail, but they only mask the pain, so the cause remains unresolved. Moreover, platelet-rich plasma injections do not possess the growth factors needed for tissue regeneration.

  • Is There Any Research About its Effectiveness?

A study published in Foot & Ankle International found that a single injection of Amnio-Fix generated significant improvement in plantar fasciitis symptoms within one week of treatment. Over the course of the trial (which lasted 8 weeks) patients exhibited improvements in terms of pain levels and function.

Comparable findings were presented in the Journal of Sports Medicine regarding the usage of amniotic tissue to treat plantar fasciitis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists at (425) 455-0936. To schedule a consultation to learn more about treatment using Amnio-Fix injections.