What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that affects many tissues in the body. It affects bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels. In joints, a component of the joint lining is attacked by the body’s own immune system, as it mistakenly thinks that there is an infection. The immune system causes the release of chemicals to attack the infection and this leads to damage within the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes deformities in feet. The joints can become painful and swollen. The ligaments can become damaged and stretch. The joint lining can stretch and allow abnormal joint positions. Tendons can stretch or snap. This leads to multiple deformities. The arch of the foot can collapse. Bunions can develop. Hammering and clawing of the toes can occur. The toes can dislocate. Often the patient describes a feeling of walking on marbles, and there are bony prominences on the sole of the foot.

Rheumatoid arthritics often have multiple problems in other areas too. The heart and blood vessels may be affected, and the neck may be arthritic.

If you have feet affected by rheumatoid arthritis, it is best to see an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle surgery. You should have x-rays taken in a standing position - this is when deformities are worst.

about this condition
what your 
operation involvesRheumatoid_Foot_Surgery.html
what to expect
after surgeryRheumatoid_Foot_Rehab.html
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