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When Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Ankles

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00

The synovial membrane is the protective tissue that surrounds joints such as the ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease in which the body attacks this tissue causing it to become swollen and filled with fluid. Over time, this fluid can break the ankle joint down, causing it to become misaligned, deformed, and stiff. Other symptoms include ankle pain, fatigue, and fever. If the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis goes unchecked, it may affect other parts of the body and lead to other diseases. While genetics can make you more predisposed to infections that may bring on rheumatoid arthritis, smoking, old age, and obesity may also increase your risks of contracting this disease. If you have pain in your ankles due to rheumatoid arthritis, a podiatrist may treat you with medications, physical therapy, orthotics, steroid injections or, in worst case scenarios, surgery to increase stability, reduce pain, and restore mobility in the ankles.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact The podiatrists of Grand Haven Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.


  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation


Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Grand Haven, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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