Arthritis in Feet

Hallux Limitus/Hallux Rigidus 

Otherwise known as big toe arthritis, hallux limitus starts out as a stiff and painful big toe with limited movement. It’s caused by repetitive injuries, pronation, overly high arches and some certain genetic defects of the toe and joint.

Over time, the inflammation in the big toe joint can cause long-term damage and may progress into hallux rigidus, when the big toe is painful and can no longer bend.


One of the most painful foot conditions known to man, gout is also one of the oldest known forms of arthritis. It’s caused by the build up of uric acid in the blood, which forms when the body breaks down purines. The acid typically dissolves and is eliminated in the urine, but for some it will build up and form tiny crystals that lead to inflammation in the toes, feet and knees.

These joints may become red, hot and so painful that even the touch of a sheet or sock is unbearable.

Gout attacks can become more severe and longer-lasting with each incident. The most common risk factors are being overweight, drinking alcohol, having high cholesterol or eating lots of meat, so most patients can control their gout by controlling their diet. We can also prescribe certain medications that can shorten the severity and duration of a gout attack.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This autoimmune disease causes inflammation in and around the joints, which shows itself as swelling, pain, tenderness, stiffness and redness. The most common flare ups are in the small joints of the hands, wrists and feet.

In fact, nine out of 10 people with rheumatoid arthritis will develop problems with their feet or ankles, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The inflammation most often impacts the toes and front of the feet first, progressing into the back of the feet and then the ankles.

RA may also cause patients to develop painful conditions like bunions, corns, hammertoe, thick skin on the bottom of the forefront, pain in the sole or ball of the foot and flat feet.


This is what’s generally referred to as arthritis, and is a gradual breakdown and loss of cartilage in the joints. That’s not a good thing, since cartilage cushions your bones every time you move and prevents them from rubbing together.

When that cartilage wears away, it can seriously impact daily life and make walking quite painful. It’s caused by a variety of things, ranging from the general wear and tear of age to previous injury, gout, hemophilia or the problems associated with flat feet or high arches.

We diagnose all types of arthritis through a thorough physical examination. We might also order X-rays or other diagnostic imaging to get a better look.

The treatment will depend on type and severity of the arthritis. This might include custom orthotics to provide support and cushion the impacted joints, physical therapy, prescribing anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections.


If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment



Absolutely amazing staff! Smiling faces, compassion and understanding! Couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Amanda Rugg


I was frankly shocked at how good they were at EVERYthing. They saw me less than 2 hours after I called. Dr. Barko was ebullient and professional. You can ask them questions via TXT, which is huge. Their offices are spic-n-span and modern. Basically, they're knocking it out of the park. I don't wish for more in-grown toenails, but if it happens, I'm going straight back to Lexington Podiatry.

Mick Jeffries


I love Lexington Podiatry! The staff is always so helpful, and attentive. I love Dr. Freels. She is top notch, and is always so happy to see me, and listens to me about what is going on.

Amie Castle


Dr. Carter diagnosed and created a treatment plan in minutes- other podiatrists have treated me incorrectly for years. So pleased to have answers and solutions.

Katy Perkins


My left foot had been hurting for a while. The staff and doctors here are all quite knowledgeable and professional, as well as friendly and personable. My diagnosis was promptly made, x-ray completed right there in the office, and I left with the two braces that I needed. No waiting for the mail, trip to brace shop, nada. Most excellent clinic!

Susan Bell

Accepted Insurance Providers

There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid or CareSource plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.