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Baytown, TX (281) 837-8371

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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Toes

Tuesday, 15 March 2022 00:00

Anyone with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) knows the inflammatory joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that can become a constant factor in their life. About a fifth of people with RA experience this inflammation first in one of the many toes, foot, and ankle joints. As this chronic disease gets worse, it brings with it damage to ligaments and other tissues surrounding the joints. Among the effects are hammertoe, where the middle joint of the toe bends upward; bunions, where the bone on the big toe protrudes as it is displaced; bursitis, where the fluid-filled sacs in a joint become inflamed; and claw toe, where the toe curls under. Because there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, it is especially important to seek the care of a podiatrist who can help to identify the severity of the affected area(s) and begin a course of treatment to reduce the pain through medication, lifestyle changes, and possibly surgery if needed.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Abeer M. Foteh, DPM of Greater Houston Foot Centers. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.


  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation


Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Baytown, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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