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Foot & Ankle Arthritis Among Boomers

Orthopedic physicians who specialize in foot and ankle care are seeing more 40 and over patients today than in years’ past. Baby boomers are less willing to allow joint pain to slow them down and keep them from exercise or their favorite activities.

“Joint pain in your ankles and feet shouldn’t be accepted as a part of aging. Nonsurgical and surgical treatment can help,” said Dr. Jonathan Jaivin, an orthopedic surgeon at Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI). Dr. Jaivin and Dr. Richard Ferkel specialize in foot and ankle treatment at SCOI.

Foot and ankle pain can drastically alter your lifestyle, making even the most basic functions — walking, jumping, bending — challenging. Common causes of joint pain among baby boomers include different types of arthritis such as post-traumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the loss of cartilage over time from wear and tear. A lesser known part of the body that develops osteoarthritis is the big toe joint, which absorbs forces equal to nearly twice a person’s body weight during walking. As a result, the big toe can become stiff and painful when walking or stooping.

Ankles, meanwhile, are more likely to develop post-traumatic arthritis. For many baby boomers, this trauma can be an ankle fracture or moderate to severe ankle sprain that occurred in their teens or 20s. This injury can flare up years later in the form of arthritis.

Whatever the type of arthritis you have, seeking treatment early can prevent irreversible joint damage.

Changes in shoes or advanced custom orthotics can help reduce pain and prevent further damage. If surgery is needed, advanced procedures and technology in foot and ankle care are available to help relieve pain and improve mobility and function.

Contact SCOI at (877) 952-8484.

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