Arthritis of the foot and ankle is common, and symptoms include difficulty walking, swelling of the joint, pain in the foot and ankle during walking and tenderness of the joint, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. These symptoms can limit mobility and cause chronic pain, especially if they are left untreated over time.
Painful inflammation characterizes the arthritic joint, and when this joint is the ankle, it can have a serious impact on quality of life. An arthritic ankle often appears bloated or swollen, and it may take on a reddish tinge from irritation. These effects can be worsened by protracted periods of rest.
Pain during locomotion and general movement also typify arthritis in the ankle and foot. Simply walking can cause pain to build and spread through the sufferer's leg until moving becomes hampered, difficult or even impossible. Periods of motionlessness brought on by this pain contribute to its long-term worsening, as noted by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Pain may flare during physical exertion as activity causes the joints to become tender and then inflamed. This inflammation is the root cause of the rest of the arthritic symptoms, and while it is incurable it can be fought with physical therapy, diet and various programs of surgical treatment.