Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It happens when the cartilage that protects and cushions the ends of the bones wears down. This causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease.

More than 40 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis in the hands and feet. It’s especially common in the weight-bearing joints in the foot and ankle. The big toe joint and the middle of the foot are usually affected.


The most common cause of osteoarthritis in the feet is abnormal foot function. It can also be caused by an injury to a joint in the foot. If you think you have a joint injury, see a doctor. Helping a joint heal correctly can prevent permanent joint damage.


There is no cure for arthritis, but many treatments can help manage pain and slow the progress of the disease. Caring for these conditions may include wearing shoe inserts or having surgery.


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