Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects your body’s immune system, mistakenly attacking and inflaming healthy tissue in your joint lining. This swelling can be painful and damage the joints over time.
RA is a common disease that affects more than 1.3 million Americans. Continue reading to learn more about the details behind this disease and when to see a doctor.
RA results from an autoimmune response in the body where the immune system attacks its healthy cells. This usually occurs in many joints at once, causing tissue damage in the lining and leading to chronic pain, deformity and instability.
There can be times when symptoms get worse — known as flares — and there are times when symptoms improve, known as remission. You may have RA if you experience:
The causes of RA are unknown, but several risk factors can increase its chance of development. These include:
In short, yes — rheumatoid arthritis can affect your foot and ankle. RA most often starts in the hands and feet on both sides of your body. More than 90% of people with RA develop foot and ankle symptoms throughout the disease, with about 70% reporting foot pain within the first three years of the disease.
When RA begins in the ankles, it can transfer to your feet. When this happens, you may develop the following:
If you begin developing any symptoms listed above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a doctor immediately. Tissue damage with RA is not reversible, but treatment can help slow the progression. At Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, we have a series of diagnostic abilities for RA severity to determine the best treatment option.
Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates provide solutions for RA pain that can get you back on your feet. Contact our team of RA doctors in Centralia, Lacey, Olympia, Tacoma or Tumwater, WA, to schedule an appointment today.