Skip to main content

Osteoarthritis – Foot

What is Osteoarthritis – Foot?

Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. It causes the smooth articular cartilage to become roughened and thinner. The underlying bone responds by thickening and growing outwards. The joint capsule also becomes thicker and inflamed. Abnormal foot structure and abnormal mechanics (how the foot works) can lead to osteoarthritis. People with flat feet or high arches can be at greater risk of developing foot osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis affects 8.5 million people in the UK. It develops over time, causing joints to become stiff, painful and sometimes swollen. There may be limited motion available in joints and difficulty in walking. A commonly affected joint is the 1st metatarso-phalangeal joint (at the base of the big toe) , leading to a condition known as hallux rigidus.


Though the degenerative changes cannot be reversed, there are Orthoses which can help reduce the severity of the symptoms. These include:

Shock absorbing insoles

Functional Foot Orthoses to control excess pronation which may be increasing mid-foot pain

Rocker sole adaptation for hallux Rigidus