Midfoot arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects your foot. It can make it difficult to walk and even stand without pain. In most people, midfoot arthritis develops slowly and gets worse over several years. However, it can sometimes occur after a serious injury to your foot.
Treatment options for midfoot arthritis include changing the type of shoes you wear, losing weight if needed, physical therapy, and surgery. Keep reading for more details on living with this condition.
The primary symptom of midfoot arthritis is pain in the middle of your foot. Other symptoms of midfoot arthritis include:
- pain that is worse in the morning
- pain that is worse after standing for a long time
- pain that is worse after walking for a long time
- difficulty walking
- a visible bump on the top of your foot that looks bony
Midfoot arthritis is caused when the cartilage in your feet begins to wear down. Each of your feet contains 26 bones. You need all of these bones to work together correctly so that you can stand, walk, and run without pain.
Over the course of your lifetime, your body puts significant force, wear, and tear on the bones in your feet. This can lead to the cartilage between any of the 26 bones wearing out.
Without the cushioning of cartilage, your bones start to rub together when you move. This can cause pain. When the cartilage between your midfoot bone joints wears out, it causes those bones to constantly rub against each other. This is what causes midfoot arthritis.
In many cases, midfoot arthritis can be treated without surgery. Lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and medications are often enough to help reduce pain. These treatments usually include:
- Activity modification. A doctor may advise you to avoid high impact activities that can make the pain in your foot worse. Practices such as swimming or cycling might be better alternatives.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy can help you reduce pain by increasing the strength in your surrounding joints and muscles. For example, working to strengthen your calf muscles can help reduce the pressure on your feet.
- Weight loss. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help put less stress on your midfoot bone joints.
- Pain-reducing medication. A doctor may advise you to take over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen or naproxen, to help manage your pain. If your pain is more severe, the doctor might write a prescription for a stronger pain-relieving medication, such as celecoxib.
- Corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroid injections into your foot can help temporarily reduce pain.
- Assistive devices. Assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, can help take the pressure off of your feet when you walk.
In some cases, you might need surgery to help manage midfoot arthritis. Surgery can be done to correct bone spurs that are making it difficult for you to wear shoes without pain or to correct the midfoot bone joint.
Surgery is normally joint fusion surgery. It corrects the placement of the bones in your foot to reduce pain.
Is walking good for midfoot arthritis?
Walking is a great exercise choice for people with midfoot arthritis. It’s a low impact way to stay active. It can also strengthen your cardiovascular system and help manage your weight.
Plus, walking can help strengthen the muscles in your calves and ankles. Strengthening your calves and ankles can take the stress off of your midfoot joints.
However, people with midfoot arthritis need to ensure that they have the right footwear before getting into a walking routine.
It’s a good idea to ask a doctor or physical therapist about your fitness plans and any changes you want to make to them.
Shoes are an important part of midfoot arthritis treatment. Wearing the right shoes can take the pressure and stress off of your midfoot bone. This can provide significant pain relief.
A doctor or physical therapist can help you pick the best shoes for your case of midfoot arthritis and lifestyle. In general, options include:
- Arch support shoes. Shoes with arch support are a good choice for people with midfoot arthritis.
- Arch support insoles. Arch support insoles provide extra support to your midfoot joint bones. You can purchase arch support insole inserts that can be placed inside almost any shoe.
- Stiff-soled shoes. Shoes with stiff soles keep the force of your step away from your midfoot and can reduce pain.
- Shoes with a soft upper material. It can be a good idea to stick to shoes with a soft upper material, such as mesh or nylon, rather than leather. Stiff material can press down on the bony bump often found in midfoot arthritis and can cause pain.
Can arthritis in the foot be cured?
There is no cure for midfoot arthritis.
However, treatments can help you relieve the pain. You and a doctor can put together a treatment plan that will allow you to continue living an active life.
Treatments for midfoot arthritis are generally covered by Medicare and other insurance companies. Provided services usually include:
- doctor’s visits
- physical therapy
- medical equipment, such as walkers or canes
You might need to get authorization from your insurance company before you obtain medical equipment, physical therapy, or surgery.
Living with arthritis pain
Living with arthritis can be stressful. It’s helpful to have support as you manage your treatments and the pain arthritis can cause. There are some fantastic resources online that can help:
- Arthritis Foundation. You can check out the Arthritis Foundation’s support groups, which are called Live Yes! Connect Groups. You’ll find a community of other people with arthritis to share tips, stories, and struggles with.
- Smart Patients. Smart Patients offers online forums for people with chronic and acute conditions. Their arthritis forum is a good place to talk with other people about managing arthritis.
- Creaky Joints. If you’d rather talk in person, Creaky Joints can help you connect with a local arthritis support group.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC provides
self-management kitsfor people with a range of chronic conditions, including arthritis. These kits are designed to help you gain the skills you need to navigate and manage your condition.
Midfoot arthritis causes pain in your midfoot. It can make it difficult to walk or even stand without pain.
Often, midfoot arthritis can be treated with noninvasive methods, such as supportive footwear, physical therapy, pain medication, walking aids, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, you might need surgery to remove bone spurs or fix joints.
There is no cure for midfoot arthritis, but treatment can help you manage the condition and reduce pain.