Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
Synovitis is inflammation of the tissues that line a joint. It is commonly associated with specific diseases such as arthritis or gout, but may also be the result of overuse or trauma. Symptoms of synovitis may include redness, swelling, warmth, and pain with joint motion.
Evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon will help confirm the diagnosis, and help rule out other possible concerns such as fractures or infections. The surgeon may sample fluid from the joint to analyze for inflammatory cells, or may order xrays or other advanced imaging tests to better evaluate the affected joint.
Treatment for synovitis includes rest, ice, immobilization and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, and may include steroid injections into the joint. Surgery may be indicated in longstanding cases.