Arthritis is a really common problem, and the word refers to a collection of diseases that affects your joints. There are about 58.5 million people in the US with arthritis. That’s roughly 23.7% of the population. The thing about arthritis – it can affect joints anywhere in your body, including your feet. That’s where arthritis of the talonavicular joint comes in. Without proper treatment, it can actually affect your ability to walk. Let’s explore this form of arthritis and consider what the treatments are.
What is the Talonavicular Arthritis?
We’ll begin by considering what talonavicular arthritis is. It’s an arthritic condition that affects your talonavicular joint – that’s a joint in your feet. This joint helps with the flexibility of your feet. It’s also a joint that you put pressure on every time you place your foot on the ground – and that means it can start to show signs of wear over time. But, talonavicular arthritis isn’t just caused by osteoarthritis (which happens when you overwork your joints). It’s also arthritis that can happen as a result of other diseases – like Rheumatoid arthritis, which is when your immune system starts to attack joint tissue.
Talonavicular arthritis happens when there is wearing on the cushioning that surrounds the joint. Now, it’s important to note that this cushioning actually helps to support your joints. It makes sure your joints and bone tissue doesn’t rub directly on each other when you move around. If it wears down or gets damaged – that’s going to leave your bones and joints exposed. And when they rub directly against each other, you’ll feel pain.
To get a better idea, we’ll need to explore the anatomy of the foot. At the back of your foot, you’ve got the talus and the calcaneus. Moving forward, there’s the navicular, the medial cuneiform, and the metatarsal. If you’ve got talonavicular arthritis, then it’s going to affect the area between the back region of your foot (at your ankle) and the navicular.
You’ll start to have trouble with things like eversion of your foot and other movements. As it gets worse, there are more problems that can develop. The good news? There are some treatments that can help, but it’s really important to get this type of arthritis diagnosed early.
Causes of Talonavicular Arthritis
Talonavicular arthritis isn’t just an old person’s disease. It’s something that you can get regardless of your age. It happens when the cartilage that cushions your bones and joints becomes too thin – and at that point, bones and foot joints rubbing against each other causes progressive damage.
But, why do some people get talonavicular arthritis? This leads us to the causes. There isn’t a single fixed cause and it can differ from person to person. Yet, we can take a closer look at a few common reasons why people get this type of arthritis.
- If you’ve got osteoarthritis, you’re at risk.
- Inflammatory arthritis (like Rheumatoid arthritis) can also affect your talonavicular joint.
- A foot injury can also cause the symptoms.
Injury is a very common cause. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests that you’re about 700% more likely to get arthritis in a joint that you’ve hurt – compared to a healthy joint, of course.
Talonavicular Arthritis Symptoms
Knowing the symptoms of talonavicular arthritis helps you get a diagnosis early on. So, what should you look out for? Here are some symptoms you may notice:
- Pain and swelling
- Worse pain if you put weight on your foot
- Stiffness and pain are worse in the morning
If you’ve got these symptoms, note that it can mean other things too. Getting your doctor to take a look at your foot and run some tests helps to find the cause. If it’s talonavicular arthritis, they’ll discuss the treatment options with you.
The Impact of Talonavicular Arthritis on Foot during Walking
If you’ve got talonavicular arthritis, then it’s going to take a toll on your walking capabilities. It’s important to understand why this is.
When you walk, you’re actually relying on your talonavicular joint to have flexibility in your feet. See, as you take a step, your ankle might be moving upward and downward – but it’s not the same for this joint. The joint actually moves to the sides. It’s critical to ensure you can walk on different types of surfaces. And when you’ve got this type of arthritis, it can hinder the joint’s ability to move properly as you walk.
Diagnosis of Talonavicular Arthritis
Here’s an interesting fact: there are about 30 joints in each of your feet! The talonavicular joint is just one of them. So, to diagnose this type of arthritis, a physical exam and a couple of tests are needed.
It starts with inspecting your foot and ankle. Sometimes, the doctor may also inspect your legs. They’ll generally touch the area in order to determine which joint might be affected. However, you’ll need to get some tests done too.
Imaging tests are really important. Your doctor will likely send you for CT scans, MRI scans, or X-rays. This gives them a visual reference of your foot – so now, they can see where the problem lies more clearly. If there’s a lot of inflammation, then your doctor may also order some blood tests. This can help them know if your symptoms are caused by inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is one example here.
It’s incredibly important for your doctor to know what type of arthritis causes this problem. That’s because the treatment differs. With Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, you’ll need to take medicine that reduces the rate at which your immune system attacks healthy tissue. On the other hand, if it’s osteoarthritis, then they’ll generally look at ways to prevent further progression and to manage your symptoms.
Complications of Talonavicular Arthritis
The biggest problem with talonavicular arthritis is the fact that it’s going to affect your ability to walk. Let’s face it – we rely on walking every day. So, when your talonavicular joint gets damaged, you may have pain when you walk. And as you put pressure on your feet, the problem can get worse.
Over time, this arthritis can cause deformities. This means the actual structure of your joints and the foot itself can change. When this happens, it’s going to make walking even harder. Eventually, it’s something that can actually make you reliant on things like a walking crane. And, in severe cases, you might not be able to walk anymore. This means you may need to start using things like a wheelchair.
Talonavicular Joint Arthritis Treatment Options
You’ve been diagnosed with arthritis in your talonavicular joint – now what? Well, treatment depends on your situation. A few imaging tests helps your doctor see how serious the problem is. This way, they can give you personalized treatment.
Start with home remedies – this is usually the initial treatment. Resting is important. Don’t put too much pressure on your feet. At the same time, you’ll still need to do some light exercises to keep up with your fitness. If you’re overweight, you might want to consider losing excess weight. This way, you’ll also lessen the pressure you put on your feet when you stand up and walk.
What type of shoes do you wear? The right footwear can actually make a big difference. Wear shoes that stabilize your feet and ankles. You can talk to your doctor about orthotics. Sometimes, a brace can help too.
We’ll also need to consider medical treatments. There are anti-inflammatories and pain relievers that help with the symptoms you experience. Sometimes, steroid injections can be helpful too. They help with swelling, but it’s also just a short-term option.
For a more natural approach, look at a Flexoplex review. It’s a supplement that you take daily, and it helps with joint health. Plus, it can reduce some of the symptoms you experience.
If your arthritis is bad, then surgery is something to consider. Both reconstruction and fusion surgery can help. If there’s a lot of damage in the talonavicular joint, then reconstruction helps to build the joint back up. It’s also possible to work on the cartilage that was damaged – this can help to offer more support for the joint and reduce bone-on-bone rubbing. Fusion surgery, on the other hand, works by fusing some joints together. This means the joints won’t move like usual – but it can help with talonavicular arthritis.
Fusion surgery uses staples, pins, or screws to fuse the joints together. You’ll be wearing a cast for about 12 weeks. Rehabilitation is also something that you’ll need if you opt for this surgery. It’s effective, though. A study in the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery looked at how the procedure affected people – and everyone in the follow-up said they had improvements in their symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What part of the foot is the talonavicular joint?
This joint helps with circular motion. It’s also a joint that makes sure you can move your foot outward and inward. Part of the ankle joint, called the talus, and some of the bone in your feet (at the front area of your navicular) form the talonavicular joint.
What is the function of the talonavicular ligament?
It’s a ligament that’s covered by extensor tendons. It acts as a connector between the navicular bone’s dorsal surface and the talus’s neck. You may notice that some people call the ligament the superior astragalonavicular ligament or the dorsal talonavicular ligament.
Can foot arthritis cause swelling?
Yes, if you’ve got foot arthritis, then you’ll likely notice some swelling. This condition doesn’t only cause pain and swelling, but will also make your feet feel stiff.
What is the best exercise for arthritic feet?
Toe stretches, Achilles stretches, and sand walking are some good options. You don’t want to overdo it, so choose exercises that won’t put a lot of stress on your feet. Other exercises include swimming and riding a bike.
If you’ve got talonavicular arthritis, then it’s really important to take action before it affects your ability to walk properly. You’ve got to get a diagnosis first, so the process starts with a visit to your doctor’s office. Luckily, there are some things you can do, like wearing the right footwear and resting. Some medications can help, and, if it’s really bad, surgery might also be a good option, in which case a surgeon can address the damage done to your foot joints.