Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Surgery in Millsboro, DE

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease that causes your immune system to attack the joints in your hands and feet. The inflammation becomes so severe that it causes cartilage and bone destruction. Southern Delaware Foot & Ankle performs rheumatoid arthritis surgery for severe cases of RA. Most patients with RA never have surgery, but surgery can be a solution to help reduce joint pain and improve mobility. RA significantly impacts most patients' feet and ankles. RA symptoms in the feet include foot joint pain, stiffness, and persistent aching. Our experienced doctors will determine if your RA is best treated with surgery.

Types of Rheumatoid Arthritis Surgeries 

The goal of rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce and alleviate pain and boost mobility. When there is damage to your ankle or foot joint or the tissues around it, surgery may be your best option. The most common types of rheumatoid arthritis surgeries include:

  • Fusion – We perform a fusion, or arthrodesis, by taking two bones that form a joint and fusing them with plates and screws. A fusion limits the movement of the arthritic joint to help alleviate pain. Fusion surgeries are common for midfoot and hindfoot arthritis.
  • Joint Replacement – Joint replacement surgeries involve removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. A joint replacement may be recommended after conservative treatments are unsuccessful.
  • Synovectomy – Our surgeon removes the inflamed synovial tissue around the joint during a synovectomy to reduce or eliminate pain. The inflamed tissue can grow back, leading to additional inflammation and swelling.

How Do You Prepare for RA Foot Surgery?

We will work with you to adequately prepare for rheumatoid arthritis surgery. Many of the medications used to treat RA change how your body fights infection. We may change the type of medication or dosage to help you recover safely after the surgery. 

RA Foot Surgery Recovery

Recovery after rheumatoid arthritis surgery depends on the type of surgery. We may put you in a cast or special shoe for a few weeks or months while your foot heals. It may take a couple months to return to an active lifestyle without pain. There may be some weight bearing restrictions after your surgery. We will prescribe pain medication as necessary and send you to physical therapy for optimal healing. 

What Are the Risks of RA Foot or Ankle Surgery?

It's important to remember that all surgeries carry risk. We always watch for any complications and will treat them if they arise.  Signs of infection following surgeries. If you developed an infection, we would treat you with antibiotics (oral or IV).   Your pins, screws, or plates holding a joint together may come loose. In this case, we would do another surgery to repair it. 

Schedule an Appointment Today

The Southern Delaware Foot & Ankle team is passionate about the health of your feet. We will treat your rheumatoid arthritis pain with a customized treatment plan. If you need RA surgery, we will find perform RA foot surgery that is most effective for your condition. We’re proud to be Seaford & Millsboro, DE’s comprehensive medical and surgical practice for all foot and ankle problems.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment.



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