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When should I have foot surgery for osteoarthritis?

Dr. Joan R. Williams, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Foot surgery for osteoarthritis is often considered if the pain from osteoarthritis gets to the point where it is significantly interfering with your ability to conduct daily activities. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that affects all people differently. Initially you may be fine with braces, physical therapy and anti-inflammatories.

Dr. Christopher P. Chiodo, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

If your arthritis pain can't be alleviated, surgery to repair or replace damaged joints in the foot may be necessary. You may have osteoarthritis of the foot that shows up in an x-ray and not have any pain or other symptoms. If so, that's fine. On the other hand, your x-ray may reveal little in the way of structural damage even if you are having pain severe enough to interfere with your ability to walk. If you have significant pain, see a foot care specialist. Treatment decisions are based on symptoms, not x-ray evidence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.