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The Immune System and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 00:00

The medical condition that is known as rheumatoid arthritis can occur when the immune system attacks the tissues that surround the joints. This typically causes the toes to become stiff and inflamed, and it may be difficult to walk and perform daily activities. Additional symptoms may include increased warmth that is felt throughout the foot, and the joints in the ankles and toes may become swollen. Bursitis is known to develop as a result of having rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to nodules that can form on the Achilles tendon and the sole of the foot. Mild relief can be found by soaking the feet in warm water, and elevating the feet which may reduce existing swelling. For severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the damaged tissue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

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 Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
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