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Is Foot Pain Keeping You Grounded?
Thousands of persons get different foot injuries and ailments each year. Some involve the metatarsals, those long middle bones after the toes. Most persons won’t need surgery. But there are some instances where metatarsal foot surgery may be the best bet. One such reason is synovitis, a painful condition affecting the foot.
Keeping those joints cool
Joints are formed where any two bones meet. Most joints are held in place by ligaments and the joint capsule. On the inside of the capsule is the synovial membrane or synovium. The synovium is a few cells thick and leaks synovial fluid between the joints. This synovial fluid keeps the bones consistently lubricated and prevents the bones from rubbing on each other. A person has synovitis when the synovial membrane becomes inflamed.
Signs of synovitis
Inflammation of the synovial membrane rubs on the surrounding bones and ligaments. There is also excess synovial fluid. Together, the inflammation damages surrounding ligaments and even bone. Synovitis usually affects the major joints. However, smaller bones like the metatarsals can get synovitis. Synovitis causes joint pain, stiffness, some swelling, and a decreased range of motion.
Arthritis and synovitis
Persons with rheumatoid arthritis and gout are more likely to experience synovitis. With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the joint cartilage. This causes the synovium to react and become inflamed. Gout, another type of arthritis, can cause damage to the synovium. With gout, excess uric acid in the blood crystallizes in the joints, causing intense pain. This can also create synovitis.
In most cases, a doctor will treat synovitis with medication or steroid injections. But there are some cases where non-surgical treatment is not enough. If that happens, doctors will consider metatarsal foot surgery. The surgeon will perform a synovectomy. A synovectomy removes most of the inflamed synovial membrane. This can be a minimally invasive or open surgery but is usually an outpatient procedure. The goal is to reduce swelling and pain.
Other reasons for metatarsal surgery
Of course, synovitis is not the only reason for surgery. Furthermore, other factors can cause synovitis. Trauma to the metatarsal can cause inflammation. Overuse, for instance, with athletes or runners, can cause long-term damage to the metatarsals. Coupled with old age and the natural degeneration of joints, surgery ends up as an effective method.
Save your feet from further pain
If left untreated, synovitis can cause long-term pain, stiffness, and reduced quality of life. The metatarsal bones are an important part of stability and mobility. Surgery sounds serious but can be a simple procedure with a tremendous upside. If pain continues to restrict the movement of the foot and toes, speak to a doctor right away.