How does osteoarthritis affect the foot?

Osteoarthritis is becoming an increasingly common problem in society today, especially as the population gets older. Any joint in the body can be affected. The impact of that osteoarthritis is more acutely felt on the weightbearing joint and none more so than the foot. We need the foot to move around on so if that is affected then the impacts on the quality of life can be significant. A recent episode of PodChatLive was devoted to the topic of osteoarthritis and the foot. PodChatLive is a live stream on Facebook with two hosts who have on a guest each week to discuss a range of topics. It is later available as a podcast and uploaded to YouTube.

In the episode on osteoarthritis, they talked with Jill Halstead about the definition of osteoarthritis and, more importantly, the use and type language used around the word. They talked about the prevalence of osteoarthritis affecting the foot and the relation that it has to load and what the the treatment options of its manifestation in the foot are. Dr Jill Halstead is a podiatrist in the United Kingdom and has worked in the field of foot osteoarthritis for over 10 years mostly at the University of Leeds with Professors Redmond, Keenan and other leading rheumatologists. She began her work in 2007 as part of her master’s thesis which looked at midfoot osteoarthritis and Charcot’s foot and published her first paper in this field in 2010. Since then she completed her PhD in 2013 which looked at midfoot pain and the role of foot orthoses in prodromal osteoarthritis. Jill was able to expand this model to radiographic midfoot osteoarthritis. Her main interest is in the clinical presentation of midfoot osteoarthritis, what are the functional biomarkers of foot osteoarthritis, what is the relationship between MRI outcomes and pain and the clinical interventions  for osteoarthritis with foot orthoses.