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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By contactus
October 25, 2010
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They listened to Led Zeppelin , The Who and The Beatles. They started the aerobics craze with Jane Fonda and made running a national pastime.

Now getting closer to retirement, many of that generation aren't willing to let up, even if their bodies are. Baby Boomers and subsequent generations are more prone than previous generations to seek medical advice when arthritis and other types of joint pain develops.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, including gout and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), the most common forms to affect the feet are post-traumatic and osteoarthritis, especially in the big toe, ankle and midfoot joints.

Many Boomers who seek treatment for arthritis assume they'll be able to resume activities such as running or playing sports. Seeking treatment early can improve the odds of preventing irreversible joint damage. For many patients with early-stage foot or ankle arthritis, changes in shoes or advanced custom orthotics can make a huge difference. While there is no fountain of youth for arthritis, there are more medical options available to Baby Boomers than ever before.

Big toes

Baby Boomers are most likely to develop osteoarthritis in their big toe joint. During walking, the big toe absorbs forces equal to nearly twice a person's body weight. It plays an important role in stooping and standing. Some boomers start to develop big toe stiffness, a condition called hallux limitus, in their forties.

Better surgical procedures now offer improved pain relief and joint movement to Boomers with early stage arthritis at the big toe. Patients with advanced and severe arthritis may need to have the joint fused or replaced. But stronger screws and hardware are helping fusions last longer while slashing recovery times. A new generation of big toe joint replacements also shows great promise.

Ankles

Ankles are another prime spot for arthritis. Ankles are more likely to develop post-traumatic arthritis than osteoarthritis. For many Baby Boomers, the trauma was an ankle fracture or a bad sprain that may have happened in their teens or twenties. Innovative new surgical techniques allow foot and ankle surgeons to transplant small plugs of cartilage from one part of the ankle to another in some patients, effectively slowing joint deterioration.

Ankle replacements, however, are not as durable as hip and knee replacements. The ankle is a more challenging joint to replace. It's smaller and moves in multiple directions. But better and promising ankle implants are hitting the market.

If you have been limited in your daily activities or your weekend recreation, call our office today, and find out what some of the options you might use to control arthritis symptoms!

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