When you get hurt, you expect to have a little downtime as your body heals the affected area. But your injury might not be temporary. After a traumatic injury to your feet, especially a dislocation or fracture, you can develop post-traumatic arthritis. And that can leave you with ongoing discomfort.
To help you understand post-traumatic arthritis, what it does, and how you can treat it, our team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle built this guide. Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, are also available at our offices in Decatur and Roanoke, Texas, to treat both traumatic injuries and any aftereffects, like heel pain caused by post-traumatic arthritis.
For a better understanding of post-traumatic arthritis, let’s look at how it can affect your feet.
The basics of post-traumatic arthritis
As its name suggests, post-traumatic arthritis is a type of arthritis (i.e., joint inflammation) that develops as a result of a traumatic injury to the affected joint. Your joints rely on the cartilage that cushions them to move comfortably. But an injury can damage that cartilage or change the way your joint moves.
Even after the injury heals, it may leave lasting effects that cause inflammation in the joint, otherwise known as post-traumatic arthritis. This condition can affect any of the joints in your feet or ankles.
If you ever dislocated, fractured, or broke a part of your foot or ankle and are dealing with discomfort after the fact — even several years afterward — it could be post-traumatic arthritis. Some of the hallmark signs of post-traumatic arthritis include:
- Pain when you move the joint
- Warmth to the touch
- Limited mobility in the joint
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms in an area you previously injured, you’re not stuck with this joint inflammation.
Treating post-traumatic arthritis
Here at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, Drs. Childers offer a variety of treatments to help minimize your post-traumatic arthritis pain.
We start with conservative treatment. In some cases, strengthening the muscles and tendons in the area and using inflammation-targeting treatments like alternating ice and heat can help. We offer personalized:
- Physical therapy
- At-home exercise
- Custom orthotics
- Medical-grade supplements
If your arthritic pain persists, we can target the inflammation with corticosteroid injections, apply regenerative medicine, and explore other effective treatment options with you. Ultimately, we work with you to help you find the most relief possible from the post-traumatic arthritis affecting your feet or ankles.
Don’t let ongoing pain keep you down. For care for any lingering discomfort you have after an injury, call or message one of our offices to schedule an appointment.